Nurses 'subsidising the NHS'

Community nurses are subsidising the NHS to the tune of hundreds of pounds a year because they are not fully reimbursed for travel expenses, according to the Community District Nursing Association (CDNA).

A poll carried out by the organisation found that 96 per cent of nurses said there was a shortfall between the cost of fuel and the amount they are reimbursed. Respondents said they were more concerned about fuel costs than their workload.

Fuel costs have risen by 14 per cent a year since January 2006, the CDNA says. But reimbursement rates were set in 2002, when petrol cost just 75p a litre, compared to the current rate of around 104p.

The CDNA fears the situation could get worse if the government slashes mileage allowances next month to force public sector staff to drive less.

CDNA chair Rowena Smith said: ‘While we support any reasonable efforts to reduce carbon emissions, it must not be done at the expense of nurses or their patients.'

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

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