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Farron Calls for Compensation for NHS Volunteers

July 17, 2008 4:31 PM

The rising cost of fuel is forcing volunteer NHS drivers to stay at home, says MP Tim Farron.

Mr Farron co-tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for volunteer drivers to be given tax free compensation and fuel allowance in line with the NHS staff.

The announcement comes after it was revealed that the approved mileage rate for volunteer drivers had remained at 40p per mile since 2002, despite the price of petrol increasing by 60% over the same period.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"Volunteer drivers provide an outstanding service taking patients to and from day centres, GP surgeries, and hospitals; but this vitally important work is being jeopardised by the rising price of fuel. With so many people being treated so far from home in rural areas like ours, this is an especially serious concern.

"The price of petrol has risen by 63% in Kendal since 2002; but the Government has made no attempt to match this increase.

"Without immediate action the Government is placing many of these services at risk, which will devastate the local health service in this area".