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Urgent review of NHS mileage rates needed now, insists RCN

15 Mar 2022

With fuel costs continuing to rise, community nursing staff are out of pocket. We want NHS employers to urgently review mileage rates and make immediate additional payments.

Nurse sits in car holding phone and paperwork and looking concerned

The RCN is calling for an urgent and early review of NHS mileage rates and we’re asking NHS employers to provide immediate additional payments to support staff at this time.

Nursing staff caring for patients in their own homes and other community settings most often use their own vehicle to travel to and from visits.

Those on NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts, or with AfC mileage allowances in their contracts, can claim 56p per mile for the first 3,500 miles and 20p for each additional mile.

With the recent spike in fuel costs, those rates are leaving staff out of pocket. They can’t afford to subsidise the NHS as prices continue to climb. A month ago, the price at the pumps for petrol and diesel were 148.0p and 151.6p respectively, and last week they were 161.1p and 170.1p.

RCN National Officer Brian Morton said: “There must be an urgent review of NHS mileage rates, alongside immediate additional payments, to address the dramatic increase in fuel prices.

“Some district and community nursing staff who rely on their cars to visit patients are telling us they are paying £100 more on petrol every month, putting an additional strain on their finances.

“Faced with heavy workloads and real-terms pay cuts, they already have more than enough on the plate without this additional worry.”

The NHS Staff Council reviews mileage rates twice a year in April and November. The trigger for a change in rates is a 20% increase or decrease in motoring or fuel costs over a 12-month average.

The next review is due to take place in April 2022 and reported back in May, but the RCN is calling for an urgent review due to the current spike and expected continuing price increases.

The reimbursement of car usage costs was included as an element of the Agenda for Change arrangements in 2004. The current framework and rates of payment for work-related travel, including for those providing care in the community, was re-negotiated in July 2014 but has not increased since.

Page last updated - 15/08/2022