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New petrol grant sees hundreds of applicants in first 24 hours

Grant of up to £100 per month for community nurses was offered by the Queen’s Nursing Institute but it had to close after being inundated with requests
Image shows figure of a nurse next to her car and struggling to hold a giant petrol nozzle shaped like a snake with pound signs above it

Grant of up to £100 per month for community nurses was offered by the Queen’s Nursing Institute but it had to close after being inundated with requests

A grant scheme that offered community nurses up to £100 towards the cost of petrol has been forced to close after being inundated with applications in the first 24 hours.

More than 500 nurses have applied for the Queen’s Nursing Institute petrol grant after it was launched on Tuesday afternoon.

The QNI said it was not accepting any more applications for the time being due to ‘unprecedented demand’. It told Nursing Standard it could not yet say whether the scheme would re-open.

    Grant of up to £100 per month for community nurses was offered by the Queen’s Nursing Institute but it had to close after being inundated with requests

    Image shows figure of a nurse next to her car and struggling to hold a giant petrol nozzle shaped like a snake with pound signs above it
    Image: iStock

    A grant scheme that offered community nurses up to £100 towards the cost of petrol has been forced to close after being inundated with applications in the first 24 hours.

    More than 500 nurses have applied for the Queen’s Nursing Institute petrol grant after it was launched on Tuesday afternoon.

    The QNI said it was not accepting any more applications for the time being due to ‘unprecedented demand’. It told Nursing Standard it could not yet say whether the scheme would re-open.

    The scheme was launched as average petrol prices in the UK hit a record high of more than 170 pence per litre amid a cost of living crisis that has seen some trusts set up food banks and emergency loans for staff.

    The QNI offered grants of up to £100 to registered nurses working in the community to tide them over until petrol costs were reimbursed by employers.

    Many nurses are left out of pocket with some having to wait up to two months to recoup expenses

    QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman said many nurses were being left out of pocket with some having to wait up to two months to recoup expenses.

    ‘We have received a large number of applications for support, which suggests the need is very real,’ said Dr Oldman.

    ‘This is a UK-wide system issue which needs to be addressed to enable nurses’ fuel costs to be paid more promptly by their employer or for the costs to be covered at the point of purchase.’

    Picture shows a nurse filling her car at a petrol pump
    Picture: Neil O’Connor

    Unions have called for more support from employers and an urgent review of mileage rates after some nurses warned they would be forced to choose between paying for petrol and heating their homes.

    Currently, nurses can claim 56p per mile for the first 3,500 miles a year and 20p per mile after that. The rates are set and reviewed twice a year by the NHS Staff Council but have not changed in eight years. The next review was due around this month.

    Unison calculates a nurse driving 3,500 miles for work each year is paying £400 in fuel costs they will not get back.

    Meanwhile a community nurse travelling 15,000 miles to provide care will have to pay more than £1,000 a year towards the cost of getting to appointments.


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