Outcry over passive-aggressive note left on student nurse's parked car
4 October 2019, 21:31
A student nurse who parked outside a shop has received an outpouring of support after a passive-aggressive note was left on her car warning her not to park there.
Student nurse Kiera Mercy, from Fleetwood, Lancashire, returned from her shift working on hospital wards only to find a note on a piece of card on the windscreen of her car, which she had legally parked in a spot outside a shop.
The note on the piece of card read: "This area is NOT for student parking! Have some consideration for the shops that already struggle without parking issues.
"Please think before leaving your car for hours about the business. Have a nice day."
being a student nurse, working hours on end unpaid for the nhs without a break and having notes left on your car for being inconsiderate and parking in a LEGAL space. have some consideration for those who save yours and your loved ones lives!!! pic.twitter.com/SvuFCFjV1T— Kiera (@KieraMercy) October 1, 2019
Outraged, Miss Mercy posted the note on Twitter commenting: "Being a student nurse, working hours on end unpaid for the NHS without a break and having notes left on your car for being inconsiderate and parking in a LEGAL space.
"Have some consideration for those who save yours and your loved ones lives!!!"
Miss Mercy has since been overwhelmed with support on social media.
Many fellow student nurses have taken to commenting on her post to empathise and share their experiences of struggling to find parking within a reasonable distance to hospitals, whilst enduring long-hour shifts.
And as a young women dressed in a hospital uniform, you become incredibly vulnerable walking in the dark after a shift. The amount of times I’ve walked past Stanley park and been stared at and even approached by men asking where I’m going or what I’m doing is disgusting.— Hannah Graham (@hannah_graham21) October 3, 2019
Many social media users have complained about the extortionate price of hospital parking that student nurses and doctors undertaking unpaid hospital shifts cannot afford.
As a student the hospital I worked at charged £9 a day to park, students weren’t allowed parking permits or even weekly discounted tickets like visitors. £9 a day 3-4 days a weeks and my loan worked out at £70 a month. And they wondered why I didn’t apply for a job there...— Laura Willmoth (@LauraWillmoth) October 3, 2019
The social media comments showed that many student nurses struggle to find parking spaces closer than 20 minutes away from hospitals, which they have to walk to and from, on top of working long and unpaid shifts.
Unfortunately yes.. I parked on hospital grounds because students are not allowed to park in staff carpark. I was presented with a £70.-parking charge 🙄. So now I walk... 20 minutes, after 13.5 hour (unpaid) shifts, in the dark, to get to my car...— Dancing Betty 🌹 (@Missy_2311) October 3, 2019
Many social media users praised the work of "amazing" NHS staff, saying they deserve hospital parking for the work they do in looking after sick patients.
I really wish there was a fund to provide parking for NHS staff... l would willingly pay into it!! We need to look after these amazing people who look after us so well & small things like this would make a massive difference! #nhs— Catheryn Morrissey ✈️ (@CatherynTravels) October 3, 2019
Campaigners have frequently argued that it is unjust for NHS staff to have to pay for parking at hospitals in England.
Staff parking is limited, and there isn’t patient/visitor parking near all departments. Not all hospitals have them, and not everyone gets them at hospitals where you can get them (my dad qualified but my mum didn’t so he just photocopied his for her🤷🏼♀️)— Ellie🐝 (@elliebeebee43) October 3, 2019
NHS staff should never have to pay for parking as it is, and then we have to park miles away to work to save lives. A joke— Jack Mills (@jackmillsot) October 3, 2019
Whilst staff can sometimes get permits to reduce parking prices, campaigners say they are only valid in the staff car park where there is often not enough spaces for all staff to park.
A petition in 2018 called for the government to introduce free parking for NHS staff.
The government's response was that the "upkeep and management of car parks in NHS Trusts in England is funded through parking fees; not patient care budgets".