West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper last week pressed the Government to bring NHS mileage reimbursement in line with rising pump prices.
This call comes after fears that community nurses, who are required to use their cars to get to see patients in their homes, could be looking for hospital-based jobs because it’s costing them a lot of money as the increasing cost of petrol means the NHS mileage reimbursement rate is inadequate.
The current reimbursement rate of 56p per mile drops to 20p after staff have travelled 3,500 miles. This rate has not been adjusted since 2014, despite significant increases to the cost of fuel.
At last week’s Parliamentary Health Questions on 19 July, Rosie raised this matter with the new Health Secretary, Steve Barclay MP, asking him to consider whether the mass exodus of community staff to acute roles would be a ‘catastrophe both for staff and for patients at home.’
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“If this issue isn’t addressed soon, I am really worried there will be a deepening UK wide community care crisis.
“In the past year we have seen the cost of fuel increase by as much as 60p per litre. District Nurses and other community-based NHS staff already have among the most demanding roles. We need to reimburse them fairly, not penalising them for simply doing their job.
“The current rate is absolutely not enough, and it’s unbelievable that it hasn’t been adjusted for 8 years!
“It shouldn’t cost staff money to do work in the community. The Government must show that they value their essential NHS workforce by agreeing to a fair adjustment that doesn’t punish people for working hard and reflects the cost of fuel.”