Any SQL Command that is currently running on the website is extremely slow. In the majority of occasions a Fatal Error is being returned. This is clearly not an issue with the coding itself as the queries do work some times. Are you aware of any significant slow down in responses on your servers?
Can you try logging in to the phpmyadmin area and check if it runs smoothly?
phpmyadmin did open, eventually, but returned the following :-
#9001 - Max connect timeout reached while reaching hostgroup 1041 after 10000ms
Alright, issue reported to the devs