A PATIENT who works as in the hospital who received two parking fines while undergoing surgery has slammed the NHS for charging staff to park their cars.
Claire Maloney, 23, was rushed in for surgery after falling ill during a late shift at Medway Maritime Hospital, in Kent, where she works in A&E.
Mrs Maloney, who started working at the hospital in Gillingham early in September as an administration clerk, is still waiting for her parking permit.
She says managers told her to place a note in her car window while she was parked in the dedicated staff parking zone.
Her note stated she is “emergency department staff awaiting permit” and included the contact details for the emergency desk and her own phone number.
“I did that for about two weeks and had no problems,” she said.
“But I was unexpectedly admitted for surgery when I was on shift and discharged four days later and came back to two fines.”
She says she was never contacted while she was recovering on the ward from a uterus infection and returned to her car to find the two tickets totalling £120.
An appeal has been launched and is set to be heard this week.
Mrs Maloney says she’s backing calls to remove parking charges for NHS staff saying they “penalise” health workers.
“It doesn’t seem very fair because you want to be there to help people,” she added.
“There’s so many people that struggle with how it’s being dealt with. They feel like they’re not really going to be heard.
“I do understand the NHS need to get their funding from somewhere but I don’t think that charging staff is really the answer.”
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Medway NHS Trust executive director of estates and facilities Gary Lupton said the trust had carried out a recent review of parking arrangements to “create a fairer system for all staff”.
He said: “New staff members who apply for a permit are informed the process can take up to four weeks and are offered a space at our off site parking facility while their application is being processed.”
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