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Amicustheunion

Deals on Wheels campaign forges ahead

Health visitors are paying a heavy price when they use their cars on NHS business, a survey for the `Deals on Wheels` campaign has revealed. The research discloses that more than a third of health visitors have had their car damaged, either due to vandalism or accidents, while undertaking duties in the community.
 
CPHVA/MSF research and policy officer Colin Adkins said: "It is a disgrace that so many health visitors should suffer damage to their cars when they are already subsidising the NHS to the tune of £700 each year."
 
The survey also found that:
  •   - More than 70% of community practitioners own a car solely for work reasons.
  • - Only 23% of a sample of 300 community practitioners said that car ownership was unrelated to their job.
  • - 97% of community practitioners say that the car is an `essential tool of the trade.`
  • - The annual average distance travelled by community practitioners amounts to 2,700 miles.
  • - 46% rate their employers’ car arrangements as `poor` and 12% describe them as `very poor.`
  • - Less than half of the respondents said that there was sufficient parking space at their workplace.
 
The results from the survey strengthen the `Deals on Wheels` campaign, which is protesting at the paltry mileage rates for community practitioners and calling for free parking badges for staff on home visits.
 
However, good news is emerging from Scotland following a meeting between community practitioners in Glasgow and the city council. Union and council officials met to discuss a long-standing problem concerning community nursing staff receiving parking tickets. Unions have demanded that nurses have official cards, similar to doctor on call notices, to place in their windscreens. Staff say they cannot always find convenient parking spaces near their patients and park illegally to save time, to be near to their patients and for safety reasons. The councilıs manager of land services, Kenneth Boyle, said that the council was considering immunity for nurses on duty and was investigating the idea of cancelling some outstanding fines. Anna Daley, CPHVA professional officer for Scotland, said: "This is a simple step to make and I am delighted that this council is acting in this way."
 
So far the `Deals on wheels` campaign which is calling for free parking badges for community nurses on home visits has received massive support from MPs and the CPHVA has dispatched more than 1,000 campaign packs to members.
 
For information call the campaign hotline on 020 7939 7043/7095 and see the Campaigns page of this Site.
 
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