London trainee GP receives two parking fines after 12.5 hour shifts overran by minutes

·2-min read
The Queen’s Speech outlined reforms for mental health and clearing the NHS backlog (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
The Queen’s Speech outlined reforms for mental health and clearing the NHS backlog (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

A trainee GP has received two parking fines after his night shifts overran by mere minutes at a London trust.

Malinga Ratwatte, who is training to be a GP in north London, was given two £100 fines after leaving just minutes after his allotted time following two 12-and-a-half hour shifts.

Under NHS guidelines, staff on night shifts should have free parking from 7.30pm to 8am the next day - although Dr Ratwatte’s own trust extends that to 8.30am.

Dr Ratwatte said both fines, issued by Parkingeye, showed he left eight and nine minutes late respectively.

In a tweet, he claimed the fines were “absolutely abhorrent” and showed why “NHS staff are feeling so disillusioned” currently.

He added: “How I am expected to teleport from a critical meeting about patient care to the car park is beyond me.

“It is absolutely abhorrent that even after Covid, NHS staff are being exploited and treated so poorly through predatory car parking fees and fines.

“This kind of behaviour is just one of the many reasons as to why NHS staff are feeling so disillusioned, combined with poor staffing, under resourcing and long term pay erosion.

“Forcing staff to cover unfilled rota gaps is causing burnout, stress and mental health problems.”

He later told Sky News the chief executive of the NHS trust offered to waive the charges.

Free parking was introduced for NHS frontline staff in July 2020.

Fees in England were re-introduced in March this year.

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