'Should we build refineries?' Homecare boss blasts fuel panic buyers threatening elderly

Dr Jane Townson, Chief Executive of the UK Homecare Association, has warned that the fuel crisis poses a risk to the health and safety of older and disabled people, asking what home care workers are supposed to do to address the crisis. The warning as Boris Johnson put the army on standby to help ease fuel supply problems after a fourth day of panic buying and pump closures.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Townson said: “What we really need us for the government to acknowledge that there is a risk to the health and safety of older and disabled people.

“So that then local resilience for can enact their civil contingency plans.

“At the moment they’re prevented from doing so.

“And our members have just been told, ‘go and sort out your own business contingency plans’.”

READ MORE: Petrol crisis: Woman close to tears as car close to running out of fuel in massive queue

She went on: “Well last year homecare workers make their own masks. 

“They turned binbags into aprons because their PPE was diverted to the NHS.

“What are they supposed to do now? 

“Build oil refineries in their back gardens and procure HGV drivers out of the ether?”

She added: “We need everybody to work together to solve this problem which we can, as a team.

“And we just need the local resilience for it to be able to help homecare workers and other essential workers obtain fuel.

Up to 150 military tanker drivers will prepare to deliver to forecourts that have run out of fuel because of panic buying. 

Fuel is plentiful at refineries, the Government has repeated since the queues began forming last week.


However, the surge in fuel demand came amid fears a driver shortage would hit fuel supply.

There are mounting calls for key workers, such as health and social care staff, to receive priority access to fuel where it is available.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are starting to see panic buying moderate with more grades of fuel available at more petrol stations.”

The UK is estimated to be short of more than 100,000 lorry drivers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.