Care staff expected to fund services themselves

An immediate and substantial increase in mileage allowances for domiciliary care workers, district nurses and those using their own car to provide health and care services in the community has been called for by the Workers Party Committee on Health and Social Care.

The Party has dismissed as derisory the recent offer by the Minister of Health to increase the milage rate by 10p per mile – after the first 3,500 miles travelled – saying it is insulting to front line staff and disrespectful to the needs of the ill, the elderly and the vulnerable who rely on the services provided.

The Party has written to Minister Swann and to the NHS Staff Council demanding that they immediately, and publicly, recognise the financial hardships being placed on staff as they continue to provide services at an increasing cost to themselves.

In the letter the Party also calls for an urgent lump sum payment for staff to offset the money they have spent, the introduction of fuel cards to radically improve the current method of payment and for the introduction by Trusts of a fleet of electric vehicles to provide an alternative, cost effective and environmentally friendly option for community-based staff.