Northampton nurse's emotional plea after panic-buyers leave NHS staff in tears
A Northampton nurse made a heartfelt plea for drivers not to go out panic buying fuel.
Garages across the county were run dry of petrol and diesel over the weekend despite assurances from retailers and motoring organisations all saying there is plenty of fuel to go round.
That led to fears from key workers of being unable to get to work or carry out home visits.
One who wrote on the Chronicle & Echo Facebook page said: "As a nurse who visits patients in their own homes I am absolutely dumbfounded by this.
"I had to fill up today, I had no choice. Yet there was a guy in front who filled his vehicle and then two huge petrol cans as well.
"On average I can drive 100 miles per day because of the large area we cover. I am not asking for a pat on the back for the amazing job I do, a well done or a round of applause on your doorstep.
"I have nursing colleagues who were in tears because they could not fill up.
"Nurses are attending to patients who are dying at home, who need medication to keep them comfortable, patients who need antibiotics and care to prevent them dying of sepsis.
"Why would being a nurse be any different? Because we are keeping your relative out of hospital, we are trying to safeguard them from fatal consequence, we are keeping them comfortable as they are dying.
"I am just asking to please consider the people who need fuel to save your life. It isn't asking much, we cannot look after you if you do not look after us."
On Friday, this newspaper two stories with quotes from the government, retailers and motoring organisations explaining there is NO fuel shortage, although they were experiencing high demand.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have good availability of fuel, with deliveries arriving at our petrol filling stations across the UK every day”.
And statement from Sainsbury’s said: “We’re experiencing high demand for fuel. We’re working closely with our supplier to maintain supply and all our sites continue to receive fuel.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had earlier said: "There’s plenty of fuel in the refineries, there’s no shortage of fuel, it is only the question of the delivery and it’s not the situation as we’ve seen in the country before, where the distribution network’s on strike or blockaded or anything like that."
Supply issues are down to a national shortage of HGV drivers — which is also impacting waste collections in Northampton and Daventry.
AA president Edmund King said: "It is now clear that there have been occasional delays in deliveries over recent weeks that have been managed with hardly anyone noticing. This was a manageable problem."
The EG Group, which owns 400 service stations in Britain — including sites on the A45 between Northampton and Wellingborough, the A14 at Kettering and Rothwell and the A43 near Corby — imposed a £30 limit on fuel purchases in an attempt to stop panic buying.
The company's statement added: "This excludes HGV drivers and emergency services due to their vital role at this time."
It was widely reported on Friday that BP had announced it was closing pumps and rationing petrol and diesel because of a lack of lorry drivers.
The oil giant said it was cutting deliveries at 90 per cent of its petrol stations in an attempt to ration the fuel it has in reserve. ExxonMobil, the oil firm behind Esso, said that forecourts it operates at some Tesco supermarkets had also been affected.