Lack of concrete action on nurse and carer travel risks vital services, says Bradshaw

Health Paula Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has warned that the lack of concrete action on nurse and carer travel rates risks vital services, particularly in rural areas.

The South Belfast MLA stated: “I am extremely disappointed that, having raised this issue as long ago as February when it was already evident petrol would reach £2 per litre, it has taken until today for any response in Northern Ireland when Scotland and Wales had already intervened.

“It is totally unacceptable that district nurses and care professionals who clearly need a vehicle to carry out their responsibilities, and who are already underpaid, are not receiving fair compensation for travel they must undertake.

“It has been obvious for months that this risks services, particularly but not exclusively in rural areas, as people will simply be unable to do the job. District nurses and domiciliary carers carry out a very difficult role which is an absolute vocation, and they deserve better than months of inaction.

“Even now, what is required is a concrete response raising travel rates permanently and potentially aligning them with fuel prices.”