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NHS staff are walking miles in snow, digging vehicles out of drifts and sleeping in hospitals to ensure patients continue to get the care they need.
England’s top doctor and nurse praised NHS staff across the country for going to ‘extraordinary lengths’ to ensure they are ‘there to care’ for patients in the face of snowy and icy conditions that have brought parts of the country to a standstill.
Doctors, nurses, paramedics and care workers have all battled with the treacherous elements and low temperatures to ensure patients continue to get the care they need. Nurses and midwives have even slept in hospitals overnight.
They have been hailed as “Snow Heroes” on social media for going the extra mile to ensure that the NHS stays running.
England’s national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “It is extraordinary to see the lengths that dedicated NHS staff are going to in order to ensure that people get the care they need.
“I want to send a huge thank you to all the staff and volunteers who have dug out ambulances from the snow, slept over in hospitals to make sure they are there to care for patients in the morning, and braved the wintery conditions to get to work.
“The cold weather does bring health risks, particularly for older people and vulnerable with long term conditions. So the message to them from NHS staff is clear: help us help you, by taking steps to keep warm and well, checking in on vulnerable neighbours and relatives, and using the NHS 111 service as the first port of call for advice on symptoms and where to go for the right kind of help.”
NHS workers have been sharing photos of their journeys into work on twitter:
Bristol Ambulance Service tweeted “Bristol Ambulance crews are currently supporting our NHS clients with 4×4 capability in the heavy snow! Take care on the roads and only travel if you have to #SouthWest #Ambulance”
The heaviest snowfall is in Devon and Cornwall, but people have been posting photos of heavy snow in Bristol, Berkshire and elsewhere.
In Bristol a neonatal nurses tweeted that their whole team had made it into North Bristol NHS Trust to care for new born babies “Snow…what snow?! #teamnicu @NorthBristolNHS all made it in to care for the babies…stay safe! #NBTproud #nhswhatevertheweather @rachelafielding @Pman1365 #snow #NHS”
Ruth May, the chief nursing officer for England said “The dedication of nurses, midwives, ambulance workers, doctors and all health and care staff is something that we should really be proud of, all of whom regularly go above and beyond to ensure patients get the care and treatment they need whatever the weather.”