Archived on 2 March 2022 – this content has expired.

Maintaining access to fuel for critical health care workers

We continue to monitor the situation with fuel shortages, which varies across the country.  The NPA has made contact with the Petrol Retailers Association, seeking their assurances about maintaining access to fuel for critical health care workers including all community pharmacy staff.


We want their members (forecourt operators) to recognise community pharmacists and their teams as a critical part of the health care workforce.

At the same time, we have been in a number of national newspapers – seeking to reassure the public that there is not a current widespread crisis in relation to medicines supply, but urging a swift resolution to the fuel situation.

We have created a template letter for pharmacy staff to show forecourt managers, in the event of a lack of fuel supply locally that could impact patient care. We recommend that this is used only sparingly, and it does not in any way guarantee you will get priority access to fuel. The letter points out that, well as supplying essential medicines, pharmacies now also provide a range of critical NHS services such as vaccinations for COVID and ‘flu. In addition to needing fuel to get to their places of work, pharmacy staff also use vehicles to deliver vital medicines to housebound patients.

Download the letter to forecourt managers here.