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QNI urges Sajid Javid to work with nurses to ease high fuel costs

Charity raises ‘serious concerns’ for community nurses who are struggling to pay high petrol prices to visit vulnerable and terminally ill patients

Charity raises ‘serious concerns’ for community nurses who are struggling to pay high petrol prices to visit vulnerable and terminally ill patients

A leading nursing charity has written to health secretary Sajid Javid with ‘serious concerns’ about patient safety as community nurses are applying for charitable handouts to pay fuel bills.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) wrote to Mr Javid calling for more support for nurses who are struggling to pay the sky-high petrol prices to visit their vulnerable and terminally ill patients.

With most nurses not reimbursed for their journeys for weeks afterwards, the charity’s chief executive

Charity raises ‘serious concerns’ for community nurses who are struggling to pay high petrol prices to visit vulnerable and terminally ill patients

Queen's Nursing Institute raise concerns for community nurses who are struggling to pay high petrol prices to visit vulnerable patients
Picture: Neil O’Connor

A leading nursing charity has written to health secretary Sajid Javid with ‘serious concerns’ about patient safety as community nurses are applying for charitable handouts to pay fuel bills.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) wrote to Mr Javid calling for more support for nurses who are struggling to pay the sky-high petrol prices to visit their vulnerable and terminally ill patients.

With most nurses not reimbursed for their journeys for weeks afterwards, the charity’s chief executive Crystal Oldham said the situation could mean that many nurses cannot afford to go to work.

Concerns for patient safety if nurses cannot deliver home care

‘It is a serious concern that the capacity of community nursing, already under pressure from other factors such as gaps in staffing and a growing demand for services, is being put under even greater pressure by the rising cost of fuel,’ she said in her letter dated 8 June.

‘If the demand to deliver more care to people at home cannot be met, this becomes a patient safety issue and inevitably leads to greater demands on ambulance services and emergency departments.’

Last month the QNI launched a petrol grant scheme for community nurses with a £100 payment for fuel, but had to close applications after 48 hours after being inundated with requests.

Dr Oldham said while some trusts were taking action locally to raise the fuel-allowance for employees, she called on the Government to work with them on a national strategy to reduce the impact on staff, patients and other healthcare services.

Community nurses are ‘at their wits end’ over high fuel costs, MP tells parliament

Many nurses have taken to social media to express their anxiety over the rocketing prices, with one petrol station in London charging £2.39 a litre for fuel.

Labour MP Justin Madders addressed parliament on Monday, telling how nurses in his constituency of Nuneaton in the West Midlands are ‘at their wits end as it’s costing them more to see patients than they are able to claim back in mileage.’

He accused the treasury of ‘raking in’ revenue from increased VAT in the fuel hikes.

The Department of Health and Social Care is yet to respond to the letter and also declined to respond to the Nursing Standard’s questions on its response and whether charities should be subsidising pay.


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