Press Release Press Release Press Release

8 March 2001

Health Visitors Call for Free On-Call Parking

"We demand the same rights as GPs" say CPHVA

Health visitors and community nurses will meet Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) in Edinburgh today (Thursday, 8 March) to demand free parking for NHS staff visiting patients at home.

The call comes as part of a campaign to end a NHS anomaly which sees community nurses subsidising the NHS by an estimated £700-a-year when they use their cars to visit patients.

MSPs will be told, at a parliamentary lobby, that nurses and community health visitors want the same privileges as GPs who are exempt from car park charges when on house calls.

Members of the Community Practitioners and Health Visitor Association (CPHVA) and the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association (CPNA) currently have to feed parking meters and waste vital client time looking for parking spaces which increases patient waiting times.

Campaigners will also highlight the failure of NHS mileage allowance to match the rocketing price of petrol that is hitting Scotland’s rural communities and the inequalities in the NHS trust car lease agreements, which costs NHS staff hundreds of pounds each year.

Anna Daley, CPHVA Professional Officer for Scotland said,

"This is a win-win situation. Our members win, our patients win and the Executive wins. It won’t cost the executive a penny to greatly improve the lives of community patients across Scotland".

John McLaren, Scottish Campaign Co-ordinator, said

"We’ve had a great response from MSPs so far but it is now the time for action. Our next step is to table our proposals before the parliamentary committee structure. We are confident that the majority of MSPs support our campaign every bit as much as our clients."

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS:
For further information, please contact:

Anna Daley, CPHVA Professional Officer, Scotland
( 07798 531001

John McLaren, CPHVA Deals on Wheels Scottish coordinator
(
01896 754113

Sharon Duncan, CPNA Deals on Wheels Scottish coordinator
(
01224 557035 (work), ( 01464 851451 (home)

Lee Whitehill, MSF Policy & Communications Officer (Scotland)
(
07768 69 39 50

Shaun Noble, CPHVA Press Officer
( 020 7939 7043, ( 07768 69 39 40 mobile

1) The CPHVA/CPNA will gather for the lobby at the Friends Meeting House in Victoria Street, Edinburgh between 12.30 – 2.30pm on Thursday, 8 March. There will be a photo opportunity at 13.00 when a CPNA member will don a traffic warden’s uniform and brandish an enormous ‘blow-up’ of a parking ticket.

2) Nationally, CPHVA/MSF are tabling a series of amendments to the General Whitley Council on the car issue. Last summer, the Regular User Allowance was increased by 4p from 29p, with a similar increase for the Standard User Allowance, giving a new rate of 43p. The CPHVA considered this unacceptable, given that petrol prices at the pump are unlikely to fall in the next few years.

3) The issue of taxation on cars used by community nurses is a ‘reserved’ issue for the Westminster Parliament. The CPHVA and CPNA argue their members’ cars are taxed as if they were "a perk", and not as a necessary tool of the job.

4. CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site: www.msfcphva.org

5. The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union. The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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