AN on-call doctor treating a severely disabled man in his Blackburn home has hit out after her car was clamped.

Dr Angela Parry, who works at Shadsworth Doctor’s Surgery, was about to leave for an urgent call out when she discovered the clamp on her Honda Jazz.

She immediately phoned National Clamps to tell them she was an on-call doctor but her pleas fell on deaf ears and she was forced to pay £80 to have the car released.

Yesterday the company defended its decision to enforce the fine stating: “We don't have different rules for doctors on call.”

Dr Parry had been visiting grandfather, Andrew Carter, who has mobility and memory problems following a road crash which left him in a coma for seven months.

His one-bed bungalow in Stonyhurst Close is owned by Twin Valley Homes housing association, which employs National Clamps to look after the car park.

Residents are able to park there with a permit.

Dr Parry, who has been practising in the area for almost 20 years, said she had been in Mr Carter's home for less than 15 minutes when her car was clamped on Wednesday afternoon.

The 48-year-old said: "I had come to see Mr Carter because he was in too much pain to walk to the surgery.

"I was in his house for a very short time examining him and when I left I was horrified to discover that my car had been clamped."

The doctor said she rang the clamping firm and explained she was an on call doctor but was told she would have to pay to be released as she did not have a permit.

She said: "I told them that I was a GP visiting a man who was in pain but they just wouldn't listen and were determined to get money off me."

After a long discussion with the operator, the doctor agreed to pay the fine as she was running late for an urgent call out.

She said parking attendants arrived at the car park minutes after the phone call ended.

"They must have just been around the corner,” Dr Parry said.

“It was disgraceful because I tried to show them my ID but they just ignored me.

"They were completely unsympathetic and heartless.

"I felt very sorry for Mr Carter who felt really guilty about the whole thing.

"I was shocked that people could be so uncaring. What if it was one of their relatives who I had been visiting?"

The doctor is now appealing against the decision and has written to the clamping firm.

Mr Carter, who requires regular care and visits from carers and his local GPs at Shadsworth Surgery, said visitors to his home had been 'hounded' by the attendants.

He said that over the past few months two doctors and one carer have been clamped and forced to pay out an £80 fine to have their cars released.

Mr Carter, who was left disabled after being knocked over by a car in Davy Lane, Blackburn, on Boxing Day in 2007, described the attendants as 'vultures'.

He said: "I am unable to travel very far because I have problems with my foot and my leg and I need people to come to the house.

"The carers come and give me a shower and make sure that I'm ok and the doctors come to treat me. It is disgraceful that they keep getting clamped.”

Paul Watters, from the AA, slammed the attendants and said they had crossed a 'moral line'.

He said: "If you are a doctor on call you should get special treatment and you should not be clamped.

"This is completely unacceptable and what is worse is that they probably won't reimburse the doctor even though she has provided evidence.

"It is all about making money. We are hoping that these clamping businesses will soon be outlawed.

"For all they knew someone could have been suffering as they delayed this doctor from doing her job and the fact that they did not let her go without paying the fine is outrageous."

Local councillor, Mohammed Khan, said: "It is really sad and disgraceful and I will be visiting Mr Carter and speaking to Twin Valley Homes to try and resolve this situation."

Trevor Whitehouse, a director at the Preston-based firm clamping firm, defended the decision and said his staff would continue to clamp on-call doctors.

He said: "You need a permit and we don't have different rules for doctors on call.

"If you don't display a permit you will be clamped and charged for your vehicle's release.

"Our staff will not listen and once they have put the clamp on it is staying on until you have paid- we can't listen to excuses."

Ian Bell, Twin Valley Homes’ Head of Housing, said: “We introduced permit parking in this area on the request of tenants as people visiting the town centre regularly used this area.

“Every tenant is issued with a parking permit but they can apply for more so that visitors and carers etc can park close to the property.

“We sympathise with what has happened to Mr Carter but we’d urge him to contact us as soon as possible so we can avoid this happening again in the future.”