NHS England business continuity management toolkit case study: limited fuel supply for NHS Property Services vans

Organisation: NHS Property Services
Incident: Limited fuel supply for NHS Property Services vans

What happened

UK supplies of fuel to filling station forecourts was disrupted by issues related to the availability of tanker drivers to ensure continuity of supply. While there is no national fuel shortage, this incident relates solely to the distribution of fuel and the availability of drivers to access sufficient quantities to meet their requirements.

The problem began to develop from 23 September 2021 onwards and heightened over the weekend 25/26 September 2021 when queues at service stations began to materialise, many service stations running out of fuel and/or service stations rationing the supply of fuel.

On Monday 27 September 2021 it was quickly established that maintenance service staff were experiencing difficulty in replenishing fuel for their vans with many reporting low available levels of fuel.

In view of this the Principal Operations Manager (POM) requested permission to invoke the BCP for the Northwest and this was agreed. The BCP restricted the requirement to complete P1 and P2 (critical tasks) only.

Action taken

Discussion held with Operations Director (North). Helpdesk and Customer Services notified of the proposal to move to reduction in service offering as detailed in Section above.

  • Critical P1 and P2 activities prioritised.
  • P3 and P4 activities suspended/postponed
  • Colleagues advised to work at home where possible.

Lessons identified

A number of lessons were identified:

  • BCP Process worked well until BAU could be resumed.
  • Incident paperwork was submitted late – reenforce this requirement with colleagues.