Press Release Press Release Press Release

7 June 2001

Northern Ireland Health Visitors Lobby on NHS Car Plight

Health visitors and community nurses are to lobby members of the Northern Ireland Assembly on Monday, 18 June about their plight when they use their cars on NHS business.

It has been estimated that community nurses are subsidising the NHS to the tune of Ł700-a-year.

The Deals on Wheels lobby by members of the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) and the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association (CPNA) will raise awareness amongst the assembly’s 108 MLAs.

While the CPHVA/CPNA recognise that the Northern Ireland Assembly has limited powers, MLAs do have influence over:

  • the issue of free car parking for health visitors and community nurses when on NHS business

  • rectifying the inequality whereby social workers receive higher mileage allowances than health visitors and community nurses – even though they are employed by the same Northern Ireland employer

  • asking the Northern Ireland’s Executive Health Minister, Social Services & Public Safety Minister, Bairbre de Brun to put pressure on the General Whitley Council for a substantial increase in mileage and travelling allowances.

The CPHVA’s Professional Officer, Briege Coyle said: ‘We believe that it is unfair that while GPs have ‘free’ car parking stickers, health visitors and community nurses have to waste valuable time – and accrue unnecessary parking tickets – finding a space to park.’

‘We believe that this time would be better spent with clients; doubly so as the Northern Ireland Assembly has placed a stronger emphasis on public health in the coming years – a programme which health visitors and community nurses are keen to implement.’

Ms Coyle commented: ‘We further believe that there is a need to establish a Northern Ireland-wide agreement on lease cars which eliminates differences between trusts and between professions working in the community. We believe the issue of free car parking is one that the Belfast Assembly can assist in giving a UK-lead.’

The Northern Ireland lobby follows a similar CPHVA/CPNA Deals on Wheels event in Scotland which resulted in a major victory. The Scottish Executive pledged it would write to all Scottish local authorities, health boards and NHS trusts to ensure that health workers no longer have to waste time and money hunting for parking spaces while delivering care in the community.

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS:

The lobby will be in the Private Members’ Dining Room at Stormont at 1.00pm Monday, 18 June.

There will be a photo opportunity at 12.30pm when a health visitor from Derry, Joanne Lynch will don a traffic warden’s uniform and present a blown-up parking ticket to MLA Monica McWilliams. Joanne works for the Foyle NHS Trust.

For further information, please contact:

Briege Coyle, CPHVA Professional Officer (Northern Ireland

Tel: 07733 124 208 (mobile)

Kevin McAdam, MSF Regional Officer

Tel: 02890 326688 (work)

07050 653353 (mobile)

Pat McGreevy, CPNA Northern Ireland Chair

Tel: 07730 355253

Shaun Noble, Communications Officer

Tel: 020 7939 7043

Mobile: 07768 69 39 40

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

The CPHVA and CPNA are autonomous professional sections 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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