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‘A bit of a nightmare’: fuel shortages starting to affect vulnerable patients

Patients are starting to suffer because health and care workers are unable to purchase fuel.

The fuel crisis is starting to have an effect on the care of vulnerable patients, community and mental health service providers have warned. Many petrol stations are running short of fuel as a result of panic buying, after the oil firm BP warned that it would have to close some of its petrol stations because of the lack of lorry drivers. Currently there is a shortage of about 100,000 HGV drivers.

Crystal Oldman, chief executive for the Queen’s Nursing Institute, which represents community nurses, told the journal HSJ that the fuel shortage was already affecting them: “This potentially means nurses cannot get to the patients they need to if they are unable to access fuel. At the very least, it will mean more time searching for petrol stations that have a supply, taking valuable time from their working day and more unpaid overtime will be undertaken as nurses will always prioritise their patient care.”

Patient transport has also been affected. A source at a patient transport provider in the West Midlands told HSJ that it had been “a bit of a nightmare”. The provider had had to turn down a request for a patient going to London because of the fuel shortage and because of climate protesters disrupting motorway transport: “Ultimately those patients are either at home and distressed carrying a big risk in the community or [accident and emergency] departments which [are not] the right settings.”

Read the full article here
Source: Future Care Capital


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