NHS bosses in Derbyshire have thanked staff who battled the snow and freezing temperatures to ensure patients received the care they needed in the grip of the worst weather for a decade.
Right across Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust there were reports of a truly amazing response by NHS staff to the exceptional conditions in Derbyshire and Derby.
Clinical staff, including nurses and therapists, and non-clinical staff in support roles, including domestic staff, porters and grounds people, all responded magnificently to the challenges of keeping services going and community hospital and clinic sites open. Staff at Royal Derby Hospital slept in the hospital to ensure it was staffed over the snowy period.
Community teams who care for patients at home faced a particularly challenging time in reaching some of their more remote calls.
Chris Sands, deputy chief executive at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, paid tribute to the way staff had supported colleagues and covered services so that patients were not affected adversely.
He said: “We’ve heard about people walking miles to patients’ homes and clinics when other transport was impossible, arranging lifts on tractors and 4X4s, cycling long distances when public transport was at a standstill, and persevering with car journeys in very difficult conditions in the interests of patients and keeping care going.
“Others have covered extra shifts, stayed overnight away from home and filled in wherever an extra pair of hands was needed, away from their usual bases. As ever, our grounds people/sites and services staff have done a great job of keeping our premises open and safe underfoot in the most extreme conditions.”
There are too many individual stories of our #SnowHeroes to mention here but you can find the Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust’s roll call of special mentions covered on social media, both Twitter @DCHStrust and Facebook @DCHStrust.
Chris added: “I speak on behalf of the Board in thanking you all for everything you’d done to keep services running.”
NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens also praised heroic NHS staff across the country for defying the arctic conditions that brought Britain to a standstill to ensure patient care continued uninterrupted.
He said: “In adverse circumstances NHS staff have taken extraordinary measures to get into work and look after patients.
“Once again the NHS is showing that we are there for people when they need us and that’s all down to our staff, so a huge thank you to everybody across the NHS who is going the extra mile for people at this highly pressurised time.”