Fleet News

Nurses lose out as NHS fleets use old fuel rates

MANY district nurses and midwives could be out of pocket when driving on work journeys because National Health Service Trusts are using six-year-old mileage re-imbursement rates. The rates are based on the allowances laid down by the Whitley Council in July 1993, and trusts have not updated them, despite swingeing increases in fuel costs.

In 1992 unleaded petrol cost about 43p per litre, according to the AA, compared to 73.5ppl today. This translates to a 47% increase in fuel expenditure for a driver of a 1,000-1,400cc car covering 10,000 miles a year, according to the motoring organisation, which has calculated average fuel costs of 8.95p per mile today, compared to 6.09ppm in 1992.

The division of the NHS into trusts means that Whitley no longer has official sanction, leaving each trust free to establish its own reimbursement rates for drivers using their own cars or lease cars for work. But many trusts have continued to base their rates on Whitley, and district nurse, Linda Whiteside, contacted Fleet NewsNet saying she planned to raise the issue with her union, the Royal College of

Nursing.

'It is seven years since we have had an increase in mileage allowance for using our cars for work,' she said. The Whitley rates follow two different scales - regular user, and standard user - for staff using their own cars for business trips.

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