Press Release Press Release Press Release

4 October 2000

SCOTTISH NATIONALIST MSP BACKS DEALS ON WHEELS CAMPAIGN

The Deals on Wheels campaign launched by the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association so that community nurses receive a better deal when they use their cars on NHS business has received backing in the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Nationalist Michael Russell, MSP for South of Scotland region, has put down a Motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on NHS trusts to "fully" compensate health visitors for using their cars, which are essential for their work.

The Motion - which has the possibility of being debated in the Scottish Parliament - also urged the Scottish Executive to start a free parking badge system for health visitors and community nurses when visiting clients.

Mr Russell said today (Wednesday, 4 October): " I am delighted to support the CPHVA in their campaign for community nurses to receive a fair payment for the many miles they travel by car. In rural Scotland in particular, community nurses travel huge distances by car in the course of their work, and it is unfair that they should be asked to pay a large part of their travel expenses out of their own pocket, which is effectively what happens at present."

"The situation is made worse by the fact that Scotland has the highest petrol prices of any country in the developed world. I hope that this motion will attract the cross party support which it deserves, and commend CPHVA for bringing this matter to the Parliament's attention."

Anna Daley, the CPHVA's Professional Officer in Scotland: "We greatly welcome this support from Michael Russell and would urge MSPs from all parties to support the Motion."

"At present, we estimate the average community nurse is subsiding the NHS to the tune of £700-a-year. Because of the greater distances in Scotland, compared with the rest of the UK, it could be much more than that north of the border."

The CPHVA wants a 40% increase in mileage rates; free car parking badges for community nurses visiting clients; a review of lease car arrangements; and a review of taxation on cars to end the myth that an NHS car is "a perk".

The full motion reads: This Parliament commends the dedication of health visitors and community nurses and recognises the difficulties they often face having to carry heavy equipment some distance from their car to a patient's home; urges NHS trusts to compensate them fully for the use of their cars, which are essential to their work, in line with the Deals on Wheels campaign; and urges the Scottish Executive to institute a free parking badge for community nurses and health visitors when visiting patients.

-ends-

NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS

For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble, Press Officer

Tel:

(020) 7939 7043

0468 69 39 40 (mobile)

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

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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