"Reduced patient mileage expenses"

About: New Craigs Psychiatric Hospital

(as the patient),

I have to travel from Thrumster, Caithness to New Craigs Hospital in Inverness on a weekly basis for treatment. This is a round trip of 208 miles, a considerable journey both for me & my car.

I have been able to claim 18p per mile but today I have found that Highland NHS has REDUCED this to 13p. I understand that the rate had no been changed for many years & so has nothing to do with the recent reduction of fuel prices, which is now raising on a weekly basis back up to their old price.

For those of us who cant work due to our illness, this will have a huge impact on us. Why has it been reduced, if anything should of been increase. The HMRC recommend a rate of 47p so the old rate of 18p was way below what the government recommends. To reduce this is insane.

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Response from Elaine Mead, Chief Executive, NHS Highland

Dear gezza

Thank you for bringing this issue to attention through patient opinion.

I am looking into the concerns that you have raised in your email, and understand completely the challenges across Highland with rural transport, which mean that it is absolutely necessary for you to be able to drive these huge distances to access your treatment.

When I have more details on the situation I will come back to you in person, but in the meantime please accept my apologies for the upset that the implementation of this policy has clearly caused you. It was never our intention to add more difficulties to patients when they are undergoing treatment far from home.

You already have my email, but if anyone else is experiencing difficulty then you can contact me by email at emead@nhs.net

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