Nurses across the UK have been praised for their work during the severe weather conditions this week that have threatened to thwart patient care.
Chief nursing officers, NHS trusts and nurses have been sending messages of thanks to healthcare staff, including nurses, for their commitment to making it into work and out to patients in the community.
“Thank you to all the nurses, midwives… doing so much to get to work and to patients’ homes to provide care and support in this weather”
Additional transport measures have been put in place in some regions to ensure staff can travel safely between their home and place of work, with many parts of the country hit by both the so-called “Beast from the East” and Storm Emma.
Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, said nurses, midwives and care staff were doing “so much to get to work and to patients’ homes to provide care and support in this weather”. She urged them to “stay safe” and thanked them for their efforts in a message on social media site Twitter.
In Scotland, clinical and support staff from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Western General hospital have been taken to and from work by emergency vehicles and the military.
Two Police Scotland vehicles and eight from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, in addition to 4x4 vehicles provided by the Ministry of Defence, have been deployed to assist around 200 staff members. Patients are continuing to be transferred by the Scottish Ambulance Service.
“Clinicians, facilities, admin, management teams - you are worthy of the confidence the public have in you”
Scotland’s health secretary Shona Robison said yesterday: “Our emergency services across Scotland are doing a fantastic job during very difficult circumstances to keep people safe through the challenging and unprecedented weather conditions we’ve experienced this week.”
CNO for Scotland Fiona McQueen also thanked health and social care staff for “literally going the extra (snowy) mile to care for the people of Scotland”.
In a message on Twitter, she added: “Clinicians, facilities, admin, management teams – you are worthy of the confidence the public have in you – thank you.
Staff at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust were among the health service workers who stayed overnight to ensure they could work their shift the next day.
On Twitter, the trust praised its ”amazing staff who continue to battle the elements to care for patients” and also shared a picture of a nurse in Gloucestershire in ankle-deep snow on a country lane on his way to work to “give a shout out to other NHS colleagues”.
Similar accounts have been shared by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust in London, which has had nurses stay overnight on one its wards at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“It took one of our nurses three hours to get into work on Wednesday, so she brought her overnight bag with her as she knew it would make more sense to stay at the hospital overnight than struggle home and risk being late in the morning,” said ward sister Bethan Williams.
“The team on Safari ward is incredible – they always put our patients and their families first. When the weather deteriorated, they got together to work out how best to cover their shifts between them. They did the same thing last time we had heavy snow. I’m very proud of them,” she added.