Top doc avoids long driving ban

Dr Catherine Parchment-Smith. Appearing at Pontefract magistrates court.'w4155b102
Dr Catherine Parchment-Smith. Appearing at Pontefract magistrates court.'w4155b102

A PINDERFIELDS surgeon has escaped a lengthy driving ban for a string of motoring offences after a court heard her hospital trust faced paying thousands of pounds to cover her job.

Dr Catherine Parchment-Smith totted up 12 points on her driving licence for offences including speeding and using her mobile phone while behind the wheel.

But magistrates imposed a seven-day instead of a six-month driving ban after hearing how Parchment-Smith – a consultant surgeon at Pinderfields Hospital - could not to get to work

for regular on-call shifts to perform operations if she was handed a lengthy ban.

The mother-of-three said the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust - which runs hospitals in the Wakefield and Dewsbury areas -faced paying up to £250 an hour to locum doctors to replace her on call

shift duties for trauma and general surgery, costing thousands of pounds over six months.

Parchment-Smith, a specialist in gastro-intestinal surgery for bowel cancer patients, told magistrates: “I’ve got a ten-year-old Ford Focus, I’m not a boy racer.”

The 44-year-old, of Roundhay, Leeds, pleaded guilty to driving on a motorway verge in Leeds last July. Pontefract magistrates heard how she had accumulated fixed penalty notices over the last three years for other motoring offences, including for speeding while driving to Dewsbury and District Hospital for on-call work.

Dan Smith, defending, told the bench: “She doesn’t ask you to consider hardship for her or her dependents, it’s the NHS that is the concern.”

Magistrate Malcolm Clowson, imposing a week-long driving ban, said: “We have come to this decision having regard to what you have told us and what we have read about the NHS trust.

“The main thing here is the pain and suffering that could occur to those involved in trauma and accidents.”

Parchment Smith was also fined £450 and told to pay £85 costs.