Employee issues, canceled actions, failed hospital appointments: At home for the disabled in Southeast England’s chipset, the current fuel shortage will become a headache.
As the UK enters its second week of crisis marked by long queues at gas stations, caregivers and workers in key industries are outraged and are demanding priority access to pumps to get them to work.
For the staff at Chipstead Lake, the consequences are very real. Some are unable to come to work due to lack of petrol, while others are looking for open stations or waiting in line to refuel, which adds to the fatigue and stress of their business.
Amy McCauley, a 35-year-old employee who lives about thirty kilometers from the company, admits she lost her job for several days: “I could not find gas,” she explains to AFP.
Looking for fuel in the evening or early morning, he says, “It’s really stressful.” “Will it last until Christmas? I don’t know.”
The petrol shortage started last week after dealers cited distribution issues due to a shortage of drivers. Experts estimate that there are less than 100,000 truck drivers in the UK due to epidemics and Brexit.
Motorists, worried about the drought, rushed to the stations.
Despite calls for peace and signs of government-sponsored “stabilization”, more than a quarter of independent stations remained dry on Thursday.
Linda Ado, director of Chipstead Lake, points out that the absence of some staff “has consequences for residents because they have to wait a long time to get care, but the staff on duty also have to work harder, which makes them tired.”
He insisted that those present should “do the work of two persons.”
In another company it manages so far away that those who were not there reached a quarter of the staff one day, which led to the cancellation of some appointments for its residents.
“They had important appointments at the hospital and they missed it because they didn’t have drivers,” he laments.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be good,” she said, “this is a very scary time … it makes everyone anxious.”
With the exception of the staff, the families of some of the residents have not been able to see them this week, and the house’s two vehicles – a minibus and a car – commonly used for excursions, are immobile to store petrol.
“Boxing was canceled, races were canceled: all life (of residents) was affected”, said Barry-Anne Dowling, executive of the establishment, “sadly” because of this social activity at a local club “it’s like they really are one”.
“The last thing they want is for Govt to be locked up again after two years and not be able to go anywhere or see anyone,” she says, annoyed to see “repeat” history.
Ensuring the crisis eases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was no need to give priority access to workers in key sectors such as caregivers.
And while some gas stations have chosen to set aside time for essential workers, Chipstead Lake employee Sandra, who has to walk more than an hour to get to work this week, does not understand the government’s decision.
“Some people really need help, especially caregivers,” the 63-year-old woman said, “and I wonder how the company works.”
“Beeraholic. Friend of animals everywhere. Evil web scholar. Zombie maven.”