Emergency services prepared for strike

Ambulances outside Wigan Infirmary Accident & Emergency department
Ambulances outside Wigan Infirmary Accident & Emergency department

WIGAN’s emergency services say they are prepared for a possible fuel strike next week and that services should not be affected.

High demand caused some garages to run dry in the borough yesterday afternoon but retailers said usual deliveries would ensure supplies were replenished.

Some 90 per cent of UK forecourts are supplied by about 2,000 tanker drivers in the Unite union, which is threatening a strike over Easter over their working conditions and pay.

On Wednesday, government advice that motorists should consider keeping their tanks “topped up” was criticised for stoking a crisis.

No strike dates have been set, and Unite would give seven days’ notice before any action.

Concillation service Acas is attempting to convene talks between the union and seven companies involved in the dispute.

However, Wrightington Wigan Leigh NHS Foundation Trust says plans are in place to ensure services such as ambulances are not disrupted and that enough staff can get to work.

A spokesman for WWL, said: “The Trust has a ‘Fuel Disruption Plan’ which has been based on the National Plan and Department of Health guidelines. This plan outlines how the Trust is preparing for and will respond to a disruption to the fuel supply. This document is for restricted circulation only due to the nature of the information contained within it.

“The Trust is working very closely with all local agencies, including other healthcare organisations and the local authority, to try and minimise any disruption to patient care in the event that there is a disruption to the fuel supply.  We are also in continual contact with healthcare colleagues throughout Manchester to ensure a consistent and co-ordinated planned response in the event of a disruption to the fuel supply.”