Monday, 5 July 2010

René Magritte’s ‘This is not a Waltham Forest NHS vehicle’

It wasn’t long after I opened my final email from Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust, giving me the brush-off over this complaint, that I spotted the above vehicle, parked on double yellow lines (‘no waiting at any time’) on William Street, Leyton E10 on 2nd July at 11.25 am. Reg. E002 DYJ.

The email reaffirmed that a local NHS vehicle with AMBULANCE across the back, driven by a local driver and covered with NHS livery, was nuffink to do with the local NHS:

There is no central database which lists the numbers of vehicles used across the NHS and therefore this member of staff could be from any of the 32 local authorities or any NHS or private hospital and it would be impossible to establish exactly who employs this person without contacting every organisation.

Therefore I can only suggest that if you wish to pursue this matter further then you could contact the DVLA or the local Police.

Both the DVLA and the police of course, would, like the NHS, tell me to fuck off, since the registration details of vehicles are confidential and not available to members of the public, and in any case parking offences have been decriminalised and are not the responsibility of the police.

Plainly there is no point in me sending another complaint to the NHS. For example, the crap NHS Direct driver who put two wheels on the kerb cannot possibly have been anything to do with NHS Direct. Likewise, the van shown above, whose driver nipped off to do a spot of shopping, was plainly nothing at all to do with Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust, even though that’s what it said on the vehicle’s side panel. The driver was almost certainly an irresponsible representative of the NHS (‘Norwegian Housing Society’), servicing Leyton’s famously large Norwegian population.

Please do not get the impression that the local health trust is the kind of organisation where even internal whistleblowers are concerned about

inappropriate use of a vehicle

or that abuses are tolerated:

“It was reported to senior management who dealt with it locally and swept it under the carpet.

Please don’t clog up the email box of Dr Lucy Moore, Chief Executive, Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust by asking her if she is satisfied with the standards of local NHS drivers, or bothering her with questions about cycle parking at Whipps Cross Hospital or at the new Leyton Polyclinic. Please don’t pester her with annoying demands to know why Chingford Health Centre (sic) has a lovely car park but not a single cycle stand for staff or visitors. Please don’t email her with the accusation that Whipps Cross University Hospital is a car-sick institution with a drug-addicted administration and staff.

Dr Moore’s email address is

Please do not trouble this busy woman with trifles like these, I beseech you.


Everything is so different in Bristol.