Community Care Workers Short Changed by the NHS
Community Care Workers Short Changed by the NHS
Why this petition matters
My name is Marek Powalski, and despite my name, I am British, my father having come to the United Kingdom after world war 2.
I was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1972, a City that has seen it's fair share of up's and down's over the years, more so with the dramatic decline in the pottery industry over the last 25 years.
I myself used to work in the pottery industry, but more recently, I have worked for the NHS for the past 15 years, something that I am immensely proud of, even more so because I have been working as a community support worker for nearly the past two years of my career, this being with the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
As a community support worker, my role see's me working with patients who have been discharged from hospital who are in need of some form of care in order for them to either regain some form of independence, or for those who regaining independence is not an option, we provide support until a care package is put in place.
I work alongside many professional people, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, district nurses, social workers, and more, and one of the things that we all have in common, is that we have to use our own vehicles to carry out our work, something that has benefitted the NHS hugely over the years, saving them hundred's of thousands of pounds annually, if not millions, this being down to the NHS not having to handle the logistics that would be involved if they chose to provide the vehicles needed to carry out this ever demanding and important service, something that saves money on staff, fleet and indeed the cost of fuel, something that has seen petrol and diesel prices hit record high's recently, with sadly more rises predicted in the coming week and months, this being the reason that has led me to start this petition, the high cost of petrol and diesel that community based NHS staff, and indeed staff who work for private care companies throughout the UK, are now finding that they themselves are having to subsidise out of their own pockets, due to NHS Trust's refusal to react to the fact that the current expense rate given, is no longer enough to cover not only the cost of fuel, but also the essentials that go along with using your own vehicle for your job, which include:
- Business Insurance
- Maintenance of the vehicle, including regular servicing, MOT's, Tyres etc.
- Ad-hoc repairs.
All of which are worked out pro-rata to include personal use, which some staff very rarely use their vehicle for themselves, due to this situation, and them finding themselves in a situation that not only revolves around heating and eating, like a lot of other people in the UK and indeed around the world, but also now around whether or not they can afford to fuel their vehicle for anything other than work.
I know and appreciate that this situation isn't uncommon around the country for a lot of people, and I have every sympathy for these people, as we are living in unprecedented and uncertain times, to which we many people are suffering and feeling the squeeze, but in asking you sign and share this petition, I am asking so in the sense that, no one should ever have to subsidise their jobs out of their own pockets, with some staff losing in excess of £130 each month, with no way of asking for this back, added to this another issue, whereby many staff are then penalised for living too far away from where they are based, which means that they are then deducted the mileage that it takes to get from their home to their allocated base and back home again, which can see some members of staff never being able to claim anything for using their own car, which see's them even worse off.
I accept that many people may say that NHS staff can afford this as they are on great money to start with, but trust me, this is not the case within all sectors of the NHS, and I can honestly say that there are many roles that are often at the lowest end of the pay scale, and in order for staff to make wages up, some of them work seven days a week, starting at 7am in the morning and finishing at 10pm at night, in conditions that are not only physically demanding, but also mentally demanding, and again, I accept that this is symptomatic of a great many other people throughout the UK, but to then have your employer not even pay lip-service to a situation that is grossly unfair and in desperate need of addressing, just isn't fair, especially when that employer is the NHS.
I know that this has been a long and lengthy message, for which I apologise, but I do hope that I, my colleagues locally, as well as nationally, find that you are able to support this petition with the aim of getting this issue some much needed coverage, so that all members of staff concerned can take even the smallest bit of comfort knowing that there are people out there who support and wish them well in taking this forward.
Many thanks and best wishes