Nurse’s anger as car clamped on patient visit

A COMMUNITY nurse’s car was left clamped for five hours after a firm targeted the vehicle when she parked in a patient’s parking spot.

NHS chiefs spoke of their frustration at the incident last night, claiming the clampers seemed “totally above the law”.

Hannah Bannock said she was displaying an NHS permit and was in full uniform when the clampers struck as she tended to an elderly woman in her home.

She said she had been there for just 15 minutes when they swooped in Agate Road, Clacton, and refused to budge.

After she explained to the clampers that she was on duty and had more patients to see, she claims they told her the fine would increase by �50 for every half hour she refused to pay.

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Mrs Bannock, who works for the North East Essex Primary Care Trust, said: “I was in there for just 15 minutes and as I was packing up to leave a little girl knocked on the door and said they were clamping my car.

“I ran down and they had just clamped it. I said, ‘you can’t do that, I’m a district nurse, I’ve got other patients to see’.

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“They just said, ‘there’s a notice on your window, you’ll have to ring the number’.”

Mrs Bannock, from Colchester, was then involved in a five-hour stand-off with the clampers.

Her managers called the firm, South East Clamping, but they initially declined to back down and gave her three hours to pay up or have her car towed and impounded.

She said: “I think they should have had some common decency - they saw I was in uniform. What if one of their relatives needed a nurse? I’m sure they would think differently.

“I had to hand over three other patients, one of which is very poorly, to my colleagues and they are already very busy.”

Peter Richardson, spokesman for North East Essex PCT, said: “It’s been a very frustrating day. One of our nurses has been hamstrung for the whole day and these people seem totally above the law.”

The clampers eventually relented when the management company which employs the firm to patrol the land intervened - but not until the nurse had been waiting five hours. She was released at 4.45pm, and the trust will not have to pay the penalty.

A woman at the South East Clamping office refused to comment on the issue, saying: “There isn’t anybody here to talk to you.”

It is understood the NHS permit allows health workers visiting patients to park in resident’s spaces as long as they have the permission of the owner.

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