A psychiatric nurse and his family are struggling so much with soaring energy costs they only boil their kettle once a day and store the hot water in a flask.
Matthew Tacey, 31, said bills have become such a burden for his family, which includes his six-month-old baby daughter, that they are using their kettle as little as possible.
He told i: “We are boiling water in the kettle in the morning and then storing it in a Thermos flask, so we don’t have to use the kettle again. We are cutting back where we can but the bills petrify us.
And it’s not only the cost of running a home for himself, his wife and two children which is proving difficult.
He said petrol costs have risen so much that his job as a psychiatric nurse, working in the community in Derbyshire and the East Midlands, has been affected.
Mr Tacey said: “Petrol for me is a major issue because I am a community nurse in a rural area.
“We can’t afford to travel for 15 miles to see one patient so we are having to manage appointments with them on the phone which is not great for people’s mental health. It’s going to impact on patient safety and care.”
Rishi Sunak’s Spring statement included a 5p per litre cut in fuel duty.
But Mr Tacey said this “not enough” for community nurses who have to fill up their petrol tanks at least once a week.
“What I would have liked to see is cuts from the top of the tree to help those in the working and middle classes”, he said. “And I would have expected more funding for the healthcare service, the workforce is exhausted and morale has reached rock bottom.
“This is just another kick in the face.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by fellow NHS nurse Matthew Tovey based in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.
“I don’t feel like I am seeing any benefit from gaining my nursing degree and then working on the frontline”, he told i.
The 30-year-old said the high petrol costs meant he didn’t want to use his car outside of travelling to and from work.
And he is no longer able to spend money on leisure activities.
“I’m a single male with my own home and I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to afford my bills”, he said, “I haven’t been out to the pub or to a festival because of the cost.”
He described the measures in the Spring statement as “too little, too late” and said the three per cent pay rise for NHS staff would not really help.
He said the Chancellor had merely “given with one hand and then taken away with another”.