A nurse was left in tears after she received parking fines as she regularly works longer than her 12-hour shift.
Emma Chapman was given her second Fixed Penalty Notice by Havering Council earlier this week, despite paying £12.50 to park her car.
According to Emma, a lot of her colleagues at the Queen’s Hospital in Romford have also been issued with fines at the council-run Oldchurch Rise car park.
Staff at this particular hospital often work 13-hour shifts, and their car parking tickets last for a maximum of 12 hours - hence the fine.
Chapman told Metro: "When I came home after getting the ticket again, I was in tears because I was so angry that this keeps happening.
"After a busy shift treating patients in corridors and feeling disheartened by not being able to give the proper care they need, to come out and see a parking ticket on your car feels so demotivating."
Outraged by the parking fine, Chapman's husband Lee posted a photo of it to LinkedIn and some thoughtful strangers stepped in to pay the bill.
"I was amazed by the response on LinkedIn because I felt in the past that I hadn’t been listened to," Chapman said.
The nurse told Metro that her colleagues are struggling to be able to afford to pay the fines, as they are working long hours and taking extra shifts to ease the pressure brought from the cost of living crisis.
She said: "Obviously, A&E and ITU nurses are not allowed to strike, but we do need higher wages to cover the cost of bills, and I’m even taking up extra shifts to be able to.
"To then see I have a parking ticket, it’s really disheartening, because I lose out on a good couple hours worth of pay to cover the cost of them."
Chapman has pleaded with the local council to recognise that some nurses will be working longer than the maximum parking time, and that she and her colleagues can't just nip back to the car to put more hours in.
"They only allow people to park up to 12 hours, whereas we are working 13-hour shifts, and I can’t just drop everything to move my car because I might be dealing with an emergency," she said.
"We are also trying to retain staff at the moment, especially as we have a lot of agency staff, and if they are getting fined that is not going to help.
"I think the council needs to be more mindful that we are working shifts longer than the maximum length ticket."
Councillor Ray Morgon, Havering’s Leader of the Council, told the Havering Daily: "We appreciate all the incredible work our nurses are doing and we will act on this straight away.
"We will carry out a review and see how we can resolve this situation for our nurses."
A spokesperson from Havering Council told Tyla: "We understand that receiving a parking fine can be frustrating, but our enforcement officers can only work with the information they have. In two of these cases, the resident paid for her parking in two to three hour intervals using the parking app, and unfortunately the payment record hadn’t been updated on our enforcement officers devices in time, therefore PCNs were issued in error. These have now been appealed and cancelled.
"The car park in question does have a 12 hour limit, which we understand can be difficult for some hospital staff. We are currently speaking with the hospital to see what options we can put in place to avoid this issue in future. The car park is used by hospital staff, including nurses, as well as patients and visitors, so at present, we have no way of knowing which vehicles belong to staff."