Hospital parking firm reminded to be lenient after issuing fines to patients

Ann and Kenneth Bull pictured with the parking ticket they paid for at Bowthorpe Community Hospital.

Ann and Kenneth Bull pictured with the parking ticket they paid for at Bowthorpe Community Hospital. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A parking firm accused of wrongly issuing fines to hospital patients has been reminded to be lenient by Norwich Community Hospital.

Last summer a spate of complaints were made by patients who were issued parking charge notices (PCN) when the ticket machine at the hospital car park failed to recognise their registration number.

The latest to fall victim to the problem was Kenneth Bull, from Cantley, when he visited the hospital on January 5. Despite paying the parking fee and leaving within the allotted time, he received a PCN stating he had not entered his registration number correctly.

Mr Bull lost an appeal, but the hospital has since cancelled the PCN.

'Since the initial PCN problems last year, NCHC have put regular review processes into place with the contractor,' said a spokesman for Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust.

'We have also provided guidance to the contractor about these types of cases where a lenient approach is recommended and the contractor has complied with this approach in the majority of cases that qualify. We will also be reiterating our expectations with respect to appeals handling with the contractor. Thank you for bringing this instance to our notice.'

Last summer Paul Larman, Estate Manager at Norwich Community Hospital, said the trust had put up more signage with information about parking.

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Mr Bull said he had been prepared to pay the £60 fine in order to avoid paying a late fee of £100 before the PCN was cancelled.

'I didn't realise while I got the parking ticket out of the machine on January 5 it had only printed the last four digits of our registration number,' he said.

'They have since sent a letter in to us saying we have got a £60 fine, or a £100 fine if it's not paid within 28 days.

'As far as I was concerned I had got the ticket and the fee was paid. The times they got me entering and leaving the car park was all within the right times.'

Mr Bull appealed the decision, but was rejected. Civil Enforcement Ltd - the company responsible for enforcement at the car park, wrote to inform him it was his responsibility to ensure the correct registration had been entered on their machines.

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