The QNI has called on the government for more action to support community nurses who are facing steeply rising fuel bills to reach their patients.

The QNI is responding to concerns by nurses expressed in meetings and on social media that they often wait weeks for reimbursement from employers and often this does not cover the real cost of running a vehicle. Many community nurses are absolutely dependent on using a car to deliver care, thereby supporting people to live at home and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, the QNI’s chief executive has written to Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, asking for a co-ordinated national response to the growing problem (letter below). In the letter, Dr Oldman states:

“If the demand to deliver more care to people at home cannot be met, this becomes a patient safety issue and inevitably leads to greater demands on Ambulance services and Emergency Departments… the majority of people who are supported to live at home by community nurses have multiple and complex long-term conditions that require regular assessment and safety-critical interventions… End of life care also forms a core element of the District Nursing service and if not available at home, the default will be to access paramedic and emergency hospital services.”

Last month the QNI introduced a new single payment grant scheme to support nurses facing financial difficulty due to fuel bills. The response to this from community nurses was unprecedented, as reported in Nursing Standard. The QNI is currently processing applications received and is closed to further applications at the present time.

 

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