Hospital bosses thank staff for "amazing effort" and urge people to stay at home

Cold weather alert

Bosses at Southampton’s university hospitals have thanked staff for a “truly amazing effort” over the past 24 hours and are now urging people to stay at home where possible to prevent additional pressure on stretched services.

Further adverse weather is forecast for later today, with conditions and roads across the city being described as “treacherous and likely to worsen as the day goes on”.

Some outpatient appointments and non-urgent operations were cancelled at Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals yesterday due to a combination of staff and patients unable to travel, with similar plans in place today.

Patients who have an appointment which has not been cancelled due to staff availability and intend to travel are urged to ensure they have a plan to return home. Appointments can be cancelled online or by calling the numbers on patient letters.

More than 100 staff at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust stayed the night in the hospital and a large operation is underway again today to get these staff home and others into work.

Fiona DaltonFiona Dalton, chief executive of UHS, has written to staff to thank them “for a truly amazing effort over the last 24 hours of exceptional weather” and said she was aware of some “superhuman efforts” to get to work.

“Across the trust people have worked exceptionally hard to cover gaps, to keep services going and to look after patients and colleagues and that really does show the absolute commitment to our patients,” she said.

She highlighted the work of staff in outpatient and daycase areas who looked after stranded patients who were unable to get home and those staff who used their own 4x4 vehicles to rescue colleagues and help get patients home.

She added: “The most important message today now is to try to prevent further pressure by urging people to stay home wherever possible until the adverse weather passes.

“Conditions and roads across the city are treacherous and likely to worsen as the day goes on, so it really is important for people to stay safe if their journeys are not essential.”

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Posted on Friday 2 March 2018