Ambulance chiefs say they have enough fuel

Health unions have on Monday called for NHS and care staff to be given priority for fuel to make sure they can get to work and look after patients in need.

Ambulance services across England have moved to allay concerns they could run out of fuel amid widespread shortages at petrol stations across Britain.

Amid panic buying by worried drivers and a shortage of drivers hitting the supply chain worries over fuel for emergency services and healthcare staff have been rising.

Ambulance trusts across England have said there is currently no risk to their service with some having reserves of fuel that could last as long as several weeks.

The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives said it backed the idea of prioritising fuel for staff but said there was no wider problem that would affect 999 responses.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trust has urged people to follow government advice and not panic buy fuel.

It has had reports of staff struggling to find fuel for their own cars but said it had plans in place if the situation worsened.

John McSorley, strategic commander for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trust, said: “Currently we have sufficient fuel stocks for our ambulance vehicles. We have robust business continuity plans in place to ensure we are able to respond to patients needing our assistance and can invoke additional measures should they be required.

“We know that, like many others, some colleagues have found it difficult to obtain fuel for their own vehicles and we have a staff transport plan that can be activated should the situation escalate further.”

Some ambulance services have what is called “bunkered fuel” supplies based at their own depots and stations that are used to fill up ambulances at the start of their shifts.

East of England Ambulance Service said it was not experiencing problems related to fuel and services were running as normal. It added: “There is an ample fuel supply for all of our fleet, with current stocks held that would last 24 days.”

South East Coast Ambulance Service said it had enough fuel stocks and was monitoring the situation. A spokesperson added: “We urge the public to be sensible, only buy the fuel they require and, as ever, be aware when driving of any blue light vehicle looking to progress through traffic.”

The West Midlands Ambulance Service said it had its own fuel supplies and was not affected. London Ambulance Service said it had plans in place and no current issues accessing fuel.

North West Ambulance Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service both said they had plans in place should there be any issues.

Lee Brooks, director of operations at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “The trust has a plan in place to continue to deliver a service in the event of a disruption to fuel supply. We’re working closely with our partners, including government, to better understand the picture across Wales and mitigate any risks as they arise.”

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