December 19, 2010
Volunteer 4x4 Drivers Provide Lifeline to NHS During Cold Snap
and Vale University Health Board have publicly thanked the many members of the public who have volunteered their services to the UHB during the cold snap. Cardiff
There has been a fantastic response from local people who have come forward to help, particularly by providing transport for NHS staff and patients using their own 4x4 vehicles.
Executive Director, Tracy Myhill, who has been on call during the weekend, said many staff would have been unable to make it in without the help of the volunteer 4x4 drivers.
“We are incredibly grateful to the small army of volunteers who have helped us so much by bringing in staff and taking staff home, as well as taking home patients who might otherwise have had to stay in hospital.
“We can honestly say that, without their support, we might not have been able to keep all our services open because we simply wouldn’t have had enough staff.
“It is fantastic to know that, despite the atrocious conditions and the fact that everyone has busy lives, particularly at this time of year, people are prepared to give up their time to help us and patients, many working extremely long hours ferrying staff and patients back and fore.”
The University Hospital of Wales and University Hospital Llandough continue to cope well as the big freeze continues. Staffing levels have been maintained and all services are operating.
Mrs Myhill said: “Our staff across the board have made Herculean efforts to come in, continuing to provide high levels of patient care, whether in hospitals or in the community. Many have stayed overnight while others have walked to work. Some have taken hours to get in or have changed shift patterns to make themselves available.
“Our community-based staff have also maintained services, caring for people at home for example, despite the treacherous road conditions.
“We are grateful for everyone’s commitment, professionalism and dedication and would ask that, as the working week begins, as many staff as possible try to get to work under their own steam f they can do so safely, to ensure the 4x4 service can concentrate on the areas where it is most needed.”
The advice to the public remains to stay home if you don’t need to travel and to use NHS Direct, GP and GP out-of-hours services as first ports of calls if you are feeling unwell.
People with flu-like symptoms should avoid coming to the Emergency Unit at UHW unless they are suffering from shortness of breath.
Relatives and friends of patients due to be discharged are also urged to collect them if it is safe for them to do so to take pressure off the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust.
More information on how to access health services during the winter period is available on the UHB website at www.cardiffandvaleulhb.wales.nhs.uk
For more information contact:
Assistant Director of Strategic Communication
T: 029 2074 3507
M: 07790 378455