A GP who looks after a Weston care home has claimed that North Somerset Council hinders the ability of medical professionals to care for "the most vulnerable in our community" by enforcing parking notices.

Peter Maksimczyk, who looks after Albert House Nursing Home, has recently received a notice for parking in a bay outside the entrance to the building which is usually reserved for ambulances.

Peter said: "I look after Albert House nursing home in Weston. Outside the entrance there is a parking bay nominally for ambulances but is also used by doctors (usually myself) who are attending patients in the nursing home.

"It is important that GPs can gain easy access to see patients, especially as parking is so difficult in the area. Frequently, the nearest parking place is several hundred yards away.

"Time taking looking for a parking place is time that would otherwise be used treating patients. Would a police car, fire engine or undertaker receive a parking notice?

"In any case an ambulance would never be called without my instruction or knowledge.

"I find it concerning that it appears that North Somerset Council have a policy which hinders a doctor’s ( or nurse’s) ability to attend to patients who are amongst the most vulnerable in our community."

Although he has now paid the fine to avoid hassle, he believes this to be an injustice.

Peter added: "Bureaucratic protocols take precedence over the medical care of patients.

"I note that there exceptions in the law for ambulances, police and undertakers but not for GPs. I do not think that North Somerset Council, the police or any other government department should determine whether or not a visit by a doctor is urgent or not."

A North Somerset Council spokesperson said: “In line with national legislation, ambulance bays in North Somerset are reserved for use by ambulances.

“However, during an emergency, any first responder vehicle would be able to park in an ambulance bay. For instance, if a doctor needed to attend an emergency visit, they could park in this bay if they placed a green flashing light in or on their vehicle.

“These types of bays can only be used by doctors in emergencies, rather than for routine visits, though they must have a green flashing light.

“This is in case someone requires urgent medical attention and is unable to receive the care they need because the dedicated ambulance space is blocked, which was the reason this bay was requested.

“According to national law, other emergency vehicles such as police cars or fire engines are exempt from most parking restrictions.

"We’d still encourage all vehicles to park as safely as possible.”