6 September 2001


I am writing to ask your local authority to give serious consideration to a call by the Scottish Executive for councils to make every effort to ensure that health visitors and community nurses don’t have to waste time and money hunting for parking spaces when visiting clients on NHS business.

The debate in the Scottish Parliament, which resulted in this request, was the result of lobbying by the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association and the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association (CPNA) as part of their Deals on Wheels campaign. Both the CPHVA and CPNA are autonomous sections of the MSF trade union.

The campaign is aimed at obtaining an overall better deal for community nurses when they use their cars to visit clients – precious minutes wasted searching for a parking space is time not spent with a client, and it also often results in a parking ticket. NHS employers are often reluctant to reimburse community nurses for such fines, incurred in the line of duty.

What the CPHVA and CPNA are asking for is the same privilege that GPs currently enjoy when they do home visits to patients – i.e. a ‘free parking’ badge.

Parking is a local authority issue, as was made very clear in the Scottish Parliament debate. However, Malcolm Chisholm, the deputy minister for health and community care did promise to write to all Scottish local authorities in support of the CPHVA/CPNA on this matter. We are now asking your authority to consider this recommendation.

Enclosed is a Deals on Wheels campaign pack which covers the whole scope of the campaign, including taxation of cars and mileage allowances. We calculate that community nurses are subsiding the NHS to the tune of £700-a-year. We appreciate that some of our demands are outside the responsibility of local government, so we are asking you to only consider the parking issue - an area in which you do have some latitude.

Should you wish to have a more in-depth discussion on this subject or require a face-to-face briefing for your members, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Anna Daley
Professional Officer, Scotland

Tel: 07798 531001 (mobile)

Sharon Duncan
Scottish organiser, Deals on Wheels

Tel: 07775 877096 (mobile)