Fuel Price Increases

Lucy Pilliner, Business Manager at Katherine Harriet Ltd looks at the effects of fuel price increases in the care sector 

Fuel prices have reached record levels, adding a further potential worry for us as a business.

Homecare Associations CEO Dr Jane Townson mentioned that “Homecare workers collectively drive over 4 million miles per day to provide vital support for older and disabled people in their own homes and access to affordable fuel is critical. Rising fuel prices are another inflationary cost pressure adding to existing financial worries. Many employers in the state-funded part of the homecare sector are struggling to increase staff wages and payments for mileage as the fee rates they receive from councils and the NHS are inadequate to cover costs, as revealed in the Homecare Association’s Homecare Deficit report

Katherine Harriet have been in discussion on how we as a company can support our team through this worrying time. We are very grateful as a business we can increase our mileage and recently increased pay rates as well as bonuses however, we are aware that some companies cannot do this and being in the care industry it is vital we make the care sector favourable as we all know the care sector is crying out for more carers across the board. 

As the cost of fuel continues to rise with petrol prices soaring to an average 167p a litre. We talked about other ways we can support our staff with tips on how to help staff save such as 

  • Using the free Petrol Prices app or website to find the cheapest fuel in your area.
  • It is usually a few pence a litre cheaper to buy petrol from supermarket forecourts. Supermarkets sometimes run petrol promotions with money-off vouchers if you spend a particular amount on a shop, too, so check for these.
  • Travel light, not carrying round unnecessary loads will reduce how much fuel your car uses and the associated cost.
  • Regularly do a tyre pressure check to ensure yours are sufficiently inflated. The lower the tyre pressure, the more fuel a car will need to use to keep moving.

Research showed

In Hereford HR4 area as of the 18th May it appeared Asda was the cheapest at 159.7p per litre 

Fuel Price GraphThere are persistent rumours that supermarket fuel contains fewer additives and is of lesser quality than fuel from traditional forecourts, but there’s little hard evidence of this. All fuel sold in the UK has to abide by the standards set in the Motor Fuel Regulation. 

We are lucky that the intake of staff at Katherine Harriet currently continues to be good however who is to say due to the running costs of cars and the increase of general living will this affect our recruitment and current staff long term if this does continue to rise. We will continue to monitor this. 

We talk about staff but again what about the people we look after, less staff means more people without care, their costs are rising too, those who are private payers can they continue receiving care as you can see this then becomes a domino effect into a lot of uncertainty. 

Myself and the team at Katherine Harriet have not taken this lightly and will continue to support our staff the best way we can, this includes on a personal level too as not only will this affect us all financially but mentally too. We have not long started to live with Covid which not yet have we all recovered from. This is an uncertain time for everyone and keep our hopes up that these times will get easier. 

Katherine Harriet now has three Mental Health First Aiders on our team who are trained to support and support to the best of our ability and to identify in ways which we can help and further support our staff and each other. We will continue to move forward as an unbeatable team. 

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