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11 August 2003

‘SMASHED CAR WINDOWS FOR COMMUNITY NURSES’ - SURVEY

The level of vandalism suffered by health visitors and community nurses when they use their cars on NHS business should be taken more seriously by employers, says the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA).

Scratched paintwork and smashed windows are the most common acts of vandalism, followed by slashed tyres and ripped off wing mirrors, says the survey by the CPHVA, and the Mental Health Nursing Association (MHNA).

The analysis of the survey, which attracted 104 replies, identified areas that justify further lobbying.

The CPHVA’s Head of Labour Relations, Barrie Brown said: ‘Although this was a limited survey, there are clearly cases when our members are subsidising the NHS while using their cars for work.’

‘We will be taking up the issues raised by the survey with primary care trust and mental health trust managers, and asking for details about the extent of the vandalism problem in their localities.’

‘We want to ensure that employers have schemes in place so that our members are compensated for the money they are now having to pay out of their own pocket for something that’s not their fault and which is incurred while fulfilling their contract of employment.’

The 104 replies revealed that 63% of community nurses travelled between 1,000-5,000 miles a year for work; and that 23% have had their car vandalised once, 22% twice and 8% three times. Mental health nurses are more likely to have their car vandalised than health visitors.

More than 60% of community nurses have had their cars accidentally damaged in the last three years, as opposed to being vandalised.

However, the chances of community nurses getting their employer to pay for the damage are slim as only 9% of community nurses said that their employer had a policy for vandalism and accidental damage to staff cars whilst on duty.

And this is leading to an adverse effect on community nurses’ insurance premiums, with 44% of those with vandalised and accidentally damaged cars saying that they had suffered loss of their ‘no claims’ bonus for an average of just over three years.

Fifteen per cent of nurses with vandalised and accidentally damaged cars said that their insurance premiums have jumped by more than 25% as a result. The knock-on effect has been that many community nurses have had to seek a cheaper insurance company because of the hike in premiums.

 

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS

  • The survey was based on a total of 104 replies to the questionnaire.

For further information, please contact:

Barrie Brown ( 07798 531022

Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site: amicus-cphva.org

 The CPHVA represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the amicus trade union. MSF joined with the AEEU to form amicus, the UK’s second largest union, on 1 January 2002.

NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS

For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 Mobile 0468 69 39 40 MSF

press releases can be seen on our web site: www.amcius-cphva.org.uk

Amicus/MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners' Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.

Amicus/MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries. It is the UK's second largest union.

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