Health trust workers in NI to receive increased mileage rate

Health trust staff are to receive an increased mileage rate, Robin Swann has announced on Thursday.

he rise applies to work-related car travel by Agenda for Change (AfC) staff, which includes trust-employed domiciliary care workers and district nurses.

The current rates are 56p per mile for the first 3,500 miles, and 20p per mile for each mile thereafter.

The health minister is to increase the rate paid for mileage incurred above 3,500 miles to 30p per mile, for an initial six-month period, which will then be reviewed.

The Department of Health He said that “paying this increased rate through staff payroll systems will take some time to implement, although payments will be backdated”.

“In the interim, trusts are being asked to explore issuing fuel cards to eligible staff when they reach the 3,500 mile threshold.”

Health minister Robin Swann said: “I have taken this decision after careful consideration of options prepared by officials in recent weeks.

“I need to reiterate that every decision I make to allocate additional monies is taken at risk at present. I do not have a finalized budget and funding pressures in health may be significant by the second half of this financial year.

“I am very mindful of the cost of living pressures on health and social care staff and across the wider community. While I am pleased to confirm this mileage rate increase, I would also stress that a sustained and funded cross-departmental approach is the best way to address the cost of living issues and provide our citizens with the support they need. ”

The decision comes following recent calls from politicians across all main parties to increase the mileage rate for health workers.

Sinn Fein MLA Carál Ní Chuilín said “the increase in the price of petrol and diesel, which has seen diesel hit new highs of £ 2 per liter, has our hard-pressed care workers struggling in the current cost of living crisis” and noted that many health workers often consider “whether they will be able to afford to go to work”.

On Monday, DUP MP Carla Lockhart urged the health minister to “act with urgency”, commenting that “a year ago, in June of 2021, unleaded prices sat at around 130.5 p / liter. Diesel prices were around 133.0 p / liter. In one year, the cost of a fuel tank has risen by a third ”.

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