27 October 2013

Come on, push, I've only got an hour.

Baby Mustard
Here is a decision from the adjudicator at PATAS about the use of a Health Emergency Badge which are issued on demand to health professionals who need to visit large numbers of locations in a hurry and can't be looking for change or making phone calls as they are attending an emergency or life threatening situation. Barnet Council have signed up to the HEB scheme.

Having heard the Appellant I person there is no reason at all to doubt her evidence that she is a midwife and was attending a woman in labour having correctly displayed a Health Emergency Badge in accordance with its conditions. Those conditions make no mention of a one hour time limit.

Although the concession afforded by the display of the HEB is just that, a concession not an exemption, nevertheless it seems to me that a holder relying on it is entitled to expect that a concession offered by London Councils will be offered by every one of those Councils unless clear notice is given to the contrary. To issue a PCN and/or to enforce a penalty in the absence of such notice in my judgement amounts to the equivalent of an abuse of process; and in these circumstances no contravention occurs - see the dicta in Camden v The Parking Adjudicator and BHS t/a First for Food Service Ltd [2011] EWHC 295 Admin [2011]EWCA Civ 905.

The Appeal is therefore allowed.

Mr Mustard would be the first to admit that he doesn't know an awful lot about childbirth, his own, the last one he attended, was a long time ago but he does know that labour can go on for many hours and that it isn't without its medical complications so to expect a midwife to be able to deal with whatever emergency situation she faced within 60 minutes wasn't at all reasonable or realistic and simply doesn't make Barnet a better place to live, or be born into. 

Isn't that why the council are there, to make our lives better? Come on Barnet council, get that £7.5m parking surplus out of the budgeted accounts (as half of the income is from PCN) so that you can stop taking these terrible decisions.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

For any health care professional who is reading, or maybe one is a friend of yours so tell them about this, who has to attend emergencies across London and doesn't have a blue light ambulance (although they occasionally get ticketed) the HEB is still worth having as it will drastically reduce your PCN, except possibly in Barnet. Here is a link. There is a modest fee to pay.

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