Though a number of Trusts have cancelled non-urgent operations and appointments, staff members across the country have been making an extra effort to ensure they can treat patients, with some even sleeping at hospitals overnight.
One cancer surgeon walked for two hours and 50 minutes to operate on a patient, the BBC revealed.
Staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital were also praised by the public after sleeping over to make their shifts the next day, while the lead nurse from Fife hospital, Sally O’Brien, tweeted: “13 nurses stayed overnight at Stratheden hospital & now working early shift @nhsfife @FifeHSCP @nickyconnorfife #severeweatherheroes.”
Dr Asma Anwar tweeted: “Salute to the NICU staff Queen Elizabeth University Hospital 4 staying for the night after a 12 hr day shift to cover 4 those who couldn’t make it to work due to the weather.I have no words to appreciate & thank u all hats off a BIG THANK U.”
A hashtag started by NHSMillion has called for members of the public to recognise the efforts made by staff who have variously slept overnight at their respective hospitals, worked double and even triple shifts and walked for hours to get to work.
Friends and loved ones of NHS staff also took to Twitter to describe the efforts of the nurses, doctors and staff in their families.
Christopher Kiltie wrote on Twitter: “Girlfriend off to work with extra uniforms & toiletries so she can work through the night/sleep there incase hospital staff can’t get in due to the weather, so that patients still get the care they need. Nurses/NHS workers are a different breed.”
And Lucy Oliver tweeted: “So much respect for the NHS this evening. My neighbours, both doctors, are choosing to leave their kids at home with friends to sleep at the hospital & cover colleagues who are affected by snow. They aren’t obliged, they just care, how lucky are we?!”
It comes as the National Emergency Pressures Panel (NEPP) warned the NHS “should be ready for continued pressure as a result of this cold snap”, with a rise in hospital attendance and admissions likely, NHS England said.
Chairman Sir Bruce Keogh said: “The panel wants to thank all NHS colleagues for their continued hard work and dedication in the face of a ‘perfect storm’ of appalling weather, flu and norovirus.
“With the severe conditions expected to continue we ask patients and their families to bear with us as we seek to minimise any disruption.”