Hospital staff walk miles to help patients but services reduced

PUBLISHED: 14:06 02 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:17 02 March 2018

Weston General Hospital and A & E Department.

Weston General Hospital and A & E Department.

Archant

‘Exceptional measures’ have been taken by Weston Area Health NHS Trust to ensure the hospital remains operational today (Friday), while paramedics are urging people to only call 999 if it is a ‘life-threatening’ emergency.

Heavy snow has made travelling almost impossible but many staff have walked miles to make sure they can still work.

A Weston General Hospital spokesman said: “Responding to today’s severe weather conditions across the South West, we are taking contingency action to keep patients and staff safe.

“The trust is well prepared to cope in emergency situations and is working with NHS organisations across the region to co-ordinate planning.

“In order to do this the trust has put the following exceptional measures in place and seeks the close cooperation of the public to help us care for you.”

Clinics and elective surgeries have all ben cancelled today.

But other advice includes:

* Please only come to the hospital and specialist children’s community services if your visit is essential.

* Urgent X-Ray appointments are continuing as normal. Please attend if you can. We will contact you if it is cancelled.

* All other outpatient clinics have been cancelled. We are notifying patients.

* All non-urgent surgery has been cancelled. We are notifiying patients.

* A&E is open during the hours of 8am-10pm. Please only come to A&E if it’s an emergency.

The hospital’s spokesman added: “Please only come to the hospital over the next few days if your visit is essential.

“This includes visiting patients. We will take good care of your loved ones over this period of bad weather, but you need to keep safe too.

“Our staff have been magnificent, walking in the cold to get to the hospital and children’s services, changing their domestic arrangements to work and staying overnight to help care for our patients.

“We’d also like to thank members of the public who turned up at Weston General today in 4x4s to see if any of our staff needed transport. We are truly grateful for all your support.

“We’re asking people to check on elderly relatives and neighbours, keep warm and safe indoors and don’t forget to make sure you have enough medication. Please follow the Right Care First Time advice.”

The hospital expects to operate as normal from tomorrow (Saturday).

The ambulance service is also struggling with huge demand for its services.

South Western Ambulance Service has told people to only dial 999 if their condition is life-threatening.

Its spokesman said: “Please do not call us unless it is a genuine life threatening emergency.

“Due to adverse weather conditions we are experiencing a critical level of demand across the South wesW and some of our less urgent patients can expect a significant wait for an ambulance.”

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