Fears that health and social care services across Dorset could be severely impacted by motorists stockpiling fuel could soon be realised.
Emergency services, health organisations and local authorities across the county met yesterday (Monday 27 September) to discuss the impacts of the panic buying being witnessed across the county.
Partners have reported that increasing numbers of staff who need fuel to get to work at hospitals and in acute care settings and also workers who deliver care to vulnerable people in their homes are now reporting difficulties in trying to go about their work. The risks are coming on top of partner agencies already under pressure because of staff absences due to the pandemic.
In addition, some public sector organisations do not have bunkered fuel stocks and rely on commercial filling stations for their fuel.
Pam O’Shea, deputy director of Nursing, NHS Dorset CCG said: “We would ask people to be mindful of how their actions by panic buying fuel affects our frontline health and social care staff who we depend on to be able to travel to deliver care to the sick, vulnerable and dying people within our communities.”
BCP Council leader Drew Mellor, said: “There is a very serious risk now to ensuring vulnerable people are able to get the vital care they need. Critical social care workers protecting adults and children need fuel to get around and I would strongly urge the public to think twice before joining a petrol station queue.”
Cllr Laura Miller, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Please just take what you need. Buying fuel normally means that social care workers can get to our vulnerable people. We can get through this, but it means being thoughtful. Remember that someone’s elderly relative is sitting on their own waiting for their carer to come.”
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