How B&NES health and care services made it through the Beast from the East

Carla Woodland - BANESHundreds of local people continued to receive the care they needed as Bath and North East Somerset was gripped by snowy weather and freezing temperatures last week with local health and care staff going above and beyond to keep essential community services going.

Health and social care staff worked overnight, walked for miles in the snow, slept in hospitals and also ferried colleagues across the county in 4×4 vehicles as temperatures plummeted and snow carpeted the local area.

Teams, who work for Bath and North East Somerset’s Community Health and Care Services provided by Virgin Care, worked together with managers to implement contingency plans so that services could continue to operate.

Julie Harrington, smoking cessation and healthy lifestyle lead enlisted the help of her husband Neil and son Alex to ensure vital staff from Timsbury, Radstock, Farrington Gurney and Westfield could get to work using their 4×4 to drive in the snow.

Support coordinator, Phil Midgley, who works for the Vocational Hub as part of the learning disabilities service team, kept the clinic open in Carrswood. Phil, who lives locally, later walked four miles from Twerton to Foxhill to see a service user and ensure she had enough food and was warm enough after her carer was unable to make a visit due to the weather.

District nurses Sammy Lorriman and Mark Goodchild, who both came into work on their day off, walked from Farmborough to Timsbury in the morning and afternoon to see vulnerable local people who needed support from the service. Sammy clocked up over 21,000 steps on her Fitbit.

Kirsty Matthews, Managing Director of Bath and North East Somerset Health and Care Services for Virgin Care, said: “As Bath and North East Somerset was gripped by freezing temperatures and blizzard conditions, our colleagues remained incredibly dedicated to keep essential health and care services going during the treacherous weather.

“Colleagues walked for miles, provided a 4×4 taxi service, worked additional shifts, stayed overnight and came in early to make sure the services were covered.

“Our services have gone above and beyond to care for the people they see and keep vital services going I would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

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