Dedicated staff in our East Lancashire hospitals have been praised for an astonishing team effort to keep hospital and community health services falling victim to the extreme cold weather.
As driving continues to be extremely difficult, even dangerous, in many areas of East Lancashire, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust staff have commandeered a small fleet of 4x4 vehicles to ferry staff and some patients to the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.
A number of staff decided to stay at the hospital overnight with staff accommodation being used to the maximum to prevent difficult journeys home.
And, in certain circumstances, visitors travelling long distances are being offered blankets and mattresses to spend the night in waiting rooms rather than battle the bitterly cold weather.
At Burnley General Teaching Hospital, Estates and Facilities staff have been continue to work all hours to remove snowdrifts and keep the site as safe as possible for patients, staff and visitors.
Outpatient and surgery appointments are going ahead as scheduled, and the free Shuttle Bus between Royal Blackburn and Burnley General is running a normal timetable today.
Deputy director of Operations Tony McDonald said: “The weather continues to cause issues for both staff and patients. The extreme weather is affecting driving conditions hampering journeys to and from our hospital sites.
“I’d like to thank staff for their valiant efforts in getting into work and for supporting colleagues by car sharing.
“We are working hard to maintain ‘business as usual’. However, we ask people to please be mindful of the additional pressure that some services will be under due to the adverse weather.”
Local businesses are also doing their bit to help with The Willows on Haslingden Road at Guide kindly offering reduced rates for hospital staff, visitors and patients.