Messy Business

Only one winner in car parking disputes between trusts and consultants

More scratch your head than laugh out loud – this one.

What fate befalls the brave consultant who challenges his trust over their car parking policies?

Yep, you guessed it, legal failure I’m afraid.

Vascular surgeon Christopher Darby accused his employer of failing to ensure he had a parking space at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

He was fined for abandoning his car as he rushed to get to a clinic.

He was ordered to pay a £50 parking charge and £110 in court fees together with £6.18 in interest over the incident in October 2015.

He told a county court hearing: “I had patients waiting at the clinic.

“My reasonable options were to go home, which would have been ridiculous, to park illegally, or to go to the park and ride, which would have led to a delay of at least an hour.”

He said staff were expected to pay visitors’ car park rates when staff places were not free, adding: “Many of the nurses take a fine nearly every week.

“I do feel that the trust would expect me to go and look after my patients. I did not intend to park illegally. I took the least worst option for my patients.

“I can’t believe I’m here.”

The presiding judge, Deputy District Judge Catherine Comiskey, reported in The Times, said she found against Mr Darby “with some regret.”

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