Clampers target nurse’s car and demand hundreds of pounds as she tends to sick elderly woman
A nurse’s car was clamped and held for five hours as she tended to an unwell elderly woman in her home.
Despite Hannah Bannock being in full uniform and an NHS permit being on display in her vehicle, the workers demanded hundreds of pounds to release her car.
Mrs Bannock had been in the patient’s parking spot in Clacton, Essex, for just 15 minutes when the clampers struck.
She explained to them that she was on duty and had more patients to see, but they refused to budge, telling her the fine would increase by £50 for every 30 minutes she refused to pay.
Mrs Bannock, who works for the North East Essex Primary Care Trust, said she eventually resorted to sitting in her car to prevent it being towed away.
She added: ‘I had parked in this lady’s allocated parking space. I am a district nurse and I and my colleagues have to visit her twice a week.
‘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. They must have been lying in wait.
‘I said, “You can’t do that, I’m a district nurse, I’ve got other patients to see”.
‘They just said, “There’s a notice on your window, you’ll have to ring the number”.
‘They just sat in their van laughing at us.’
Mrs Bannock, from Colchester, Essex, has been stuck in a stand-off with the clampers since they moved in on her car at about 11.40am this morning.
Her managers have rung the firm, South East Clamping, but they refused to budge. They have given her three hours to pay up or have her car towed and impounded.
She said: ‘They told us it was £50 for every half hour, so it is probably already £600 or £700 and they have threatened to tow it away.
‘The NHS would have to pay and that is public money, that is not what it should be spent on.
‘We rang the office and the woman there hung up on us and said she would not deal with us as we had rung too many times.
‘They refused to do anything. 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 have had to hand over three other patients, one of which is very poorly, to my colleagues and they are already very busy.’
She added: ”We rang the police but they told us there is nothing they can do.’
The clampers eventually relented when the management company which employs them to patrol the land intervened, but not until the nurse had been waiting five hours.
The car was released at 4.45pm and the trust will not have to fork out for the fine.
A spokesman for South East Clamping refused to comment.
The NHS badge displayed by the nurse permits her to park for 30 minutes in spots which are not usually allowed for normal drivers, as part of a goodwill agreement with the council on their land.
But the land where Mrs Bannock was clamped is privately owned.
Peter Richardson, spokesman for the North East Essex Primary Care Trust, 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.’