Nursing unions call for action over fuel allowance for NHS staff

Nursing unions have demanded a rise in the fuel allowance for NHS nurses to help cover the soaring price of petrol.

Unison said that the fuel allowance had not gone up since 2000, when the average cost of petrol was 87.5p a litre. The price today is around 112p a litre.

The union has written to more than 400 of its health branches urging them to secure local agreements, following little progress nationally. Unison wants trusts to add 10 per cent to fuel allowances.

RCN general secretary Dr Peter Carter has also written to chancellor Alistair Darling calling for action on the issue. He said community nurses were subsidising the NHS for work journeys.

Gail Adams, Unison's head of nursing, said: ‘Many patients rely on nurses to visit them at home and it cannot be right to push the burden of rising petrol onto their shoulders.

‘National mileage allowances are the minimum and we have an agreement that local arrangements can be made. We want branches to get local managers to see sense and add 10 per cent to fuel allowances as a matter of urgency.'

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