QNI Chief Executive Dr Crystal Oldman has written to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, asking for urgent action to protect fuel supplies for community nurses.

Care for people at home and in the community is absolutely dependent on nurses’ ability to visit them by car in most areas.

The full text of the letter is below:

 

28th September 2021

Dear Prime Minister

As you are aware, the Country is experiencing problems with the supply of fuel to filling stations at various locations around the Country.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute, as the professional body which supports all nurses working in our communities, is deeply concerned about the impact that the fuel supply problem is having on nurses, allied health professionals, carers and others providing community health and care services.

Shortages in the supply of fuel are already impacting on care to ill and vulnerable people at home and in care homes. Patient visits are being cancelled and patients are at risk of being left without the care they need, at the time they need it. This is unacceptable.

The Institute appreciates the various views about the causes of the fuel supply shortage but irrespective of the causes, community nurses are struggling to get the fuel they need to complete their visits to patients.

The UK has experienced similar problems in the past and at that time regional emergency planning was used to ensure that NHS and Social Care staff were given priority to fuel resources. Availability was prioritised to a network of locations and NHS organisations and Local Authorities were given access information.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute is requesting that government urgently ask Local Resilience Forums in England to again determine key locations that will be able to provide secure fuel supplies to NHS and other key workers. Local Resilience Forums can then cascade details of these locations through their networks to NHS, Police, Fire Services and Local Authorities. Working with the industry, these identified filling stations can then be prioritised for future fuel deliveries.

Without the necessary actions, we believe the pressure on hospital services will inevitably increase, as health and care services for patients at home will be compromised.

Urgent action is required now to secure the mobility of clinical and care staff, so that they are able to continue to deliver their vital services to the most vulnerable members of society in the community.

Yours sincerely

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE
Chief Executive

CC: Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

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