The impact of rising petrol prices on families with disabled children

2 mins read

Thursday 28 July 2022

Tags: by your side, school transport, cost of living, petrol costs, hospital appointments

We are hearing from more and more families affected by increased petrol prices, through our By Your Side hospitals project and in our private Facebook group for parents.

Some families who have many hospital appointments for their child, are concerned about the costs of getting to and from the hospital. Others have noticed that mileage costs to get their child to school don’t meet the cost at the pumps anymore.

Laura Goldie’s son Elliot, aged 5, has a very rare life-threatening medical condition. He has adrenal insufficiency, which means that if he gets a cough or virus, there is a rapid deterioration in his health and he needs emergency admission to hospital. He also has a rare eating disorder Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), which affects his sleep and behaviour.

Due to the combination of conditions, Elliot has several appointments at the hospital each week. It is a 40 minute drive or 2 hour bus journey. They occasionally get a taxi.

Laura has noticed the financial impact of the hospital appointments over the last few months, with the increase in petrol costs and taxi fares. There are times due to Elliot’s health, she and her husband have to take time off, so they are also dealing with loss of earnings as well as increased petrol travel costs.

Laura said: “It’s vital we make these journeys to hospital, but it’s overwhelming to think how we are going to manage going forward, especially as all the time, costs are mounting.

Help towards journey costs to hospital

Did you know there is help available to some families for some journeys to a hospital?

School run costs

Another mum said: “I am glad my daughter has finished school. It was starting to look like I wasn’t able to get her there due to the cost. I was paying £60 a week in diesel which only a year ago cost £35 a week. £60 a week on an already tight budget is a lot.”

Out of Energy campaign

Our Out of Energy campaign continues to make the case for additional financial support for families affected by energy price rises. We recognise the package of help announced by the government are one-off payments and families are dealing with ongoing costs.