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Coronavirus: NHS staff to get free parking after 'disgust' over nurse's fine
25 March 2020, 09:16
NHS staff, volunteers and social care workers will be entitled to free parking throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The Local Government Association said this would apply to car parks and on the streets, while the Department of Health will cover the fees for those who work in hospitals.
The decision comes after several NHS staff posted pictures that later went viral of parking fines they had received after finishing a long working day.
Adele Buttress, a transplant nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said she was "disgusted" after finding a parking ticket on her car when she finished her shift at midnight on Monday.
The ticket had been written after 6pm - just hours before the UK's lockdown came into effect.
Sharing photos of her NHS pass and the ticket the following morning, she said: "I'm disgusted right now!!!
So after my shift finishing at midnight working at a nurse - this is what I receive !!! Thanks NHS city hospital...Posted by Adele Buttress on Tuesday, 24 March 2020
"We are risking our lives right now and city hospital are happy with this!!!
"Just shows they have no passion or integrity!!!!."
A number of people in the comments section also offered to pay the ticket on behalf of Ms Buttress.
"Don't know you, but I'm happy to send twenty quid to help pay the charge," said one commenter, Adrian Spencer.
He added: "You guys are doing sterling work."
Another said: "If they won't disregard it, I will happily pay your parking charge for you."
The Local Government Association is now urging any parking fines handed to NHS staff in recent days to be waived.
In north London, Dr Mehdi Veisi, the medical director of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, received two parking tickets during his shifts in the last few days.
"Thank you Haringey Council for giving me a ticket whilst I'm fighting COVID-19," he tweeted after the first ticket on Monday.
Thank you @haringeycouncil for giving me a ticket whilst I’m fighting @#COVIDー19. You could see my NHS emergency badge too. Nicely done. Instead of saving patients, now I need to appeal a ticket. Get your priorities right for NHS Staff pic.twitter.com/sC1sFjd9gw— Mehdi Veisi 🧍🏾♀️xx🧍🏼xx🧍🏽♂️ (@DrVeisi) March 23, 2020
He added: "You could see my emergency badge too. Nicely done. Instead of saving patients, not I need to appeal a ticket. Get your priorities right for NHS staff."
In an update the following day - after the UK's lockdown had come into effect - Mr Veisi said the council had "expunged" Mondays's ticket, but said he had just returned to his car after 12 hours to find he had received another.
He wrote: "I thought we were in lockdown, clearly enforcement officers in Haringey Council are not!"
Update: council expunged yesterday’s ticket. Parking suspended but hey, back to my car after 12 hours and another ticket today - I thought we were in lockdown, clearly enforcement officers in @haringeycouncil are not! pic.twitter.com/pd3lAwdEe8— Mehdi Veisi 🧍🏾♀️xx🧍🏼xx🧍🏽♂️ (@DrVeisi) March 24, 2020
In response, Haringey Council said it had since cancelled the fines given to Dr Veisi, and said: "We want to thank him, and all of the UK's fantastic NHS workers for the brace work they are doing in tackling Covid-19."
Meanwhile, Ms Bruttress is still waiting to see if her fine on Monday would be revoked.
"Takes social media for them to realise the error of their ways," she said, adding: "Hopefully my charge will be evoked."