By Ian Dipple Friday 18 January 2013 Updated: 22/01 13:23
STAFF are being asked to do extra hours to ensure the county's hospitals can continue following the disruption caused by heavy snowfall.
Workers at all three of Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust's sites, including the Alexandra Hospital, are being asked to help out on other wards at the end of their shifts to fill any staff shortages.
Staff down to work have also been asked to attend their nearest hospital site if they cannot get to the one they are rostered for. Provision is also being made so staff can stay overnight as conditions worsen.
Over 60 4x4 vehicles have also been made available by West Midlands Search and Rescue,Severn Area Rescue Association, British Red Cross and Gloucestershire and Worcestershire 4x4 Response to help get critical workers into hospitals and take staff to vulnerable patients in the community.
Jane Schofield, interim director of emergency care for WAHT, praised the efforts of staff for helping to maintain services.
"Due to the severe weather conditions we are asking staff to be flexible when attending work. We have had a fantastic response from all our staff this morning in keeping hospital services running as normal as possible," she said.
"We continue to do everything possible to ensure we can get our staff safely into work. Staff should make every effort to get into their nearest hospital and we are taking part in the Worcestershire County Council 4x4 scheme to help essential members of staff get into work.
"We are currently coping with staffing levels across Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust as staff have been dedicated to coming to work as normal. We have contingency plans in place and we have activated our severe weather plans to ensure we continue to cope with the current conditions.
"We are also asking staff to help out on other wards areas if they are able to after their shift has finished. This is to help out with any staff shortages caused by worsening conditions. Arrangements have also been made for staff to stay overnight in hospital so they don’t have to risk driving home if conditions worsen."
West Midlands Ambulance Service experienced a 19 per cent increase in calls between midnight and 1pm on Friday with the majority related to slips, trips and falls.
The public is being urged to call 999 only if it is a life-threatening emergency such as chest pain, stroke or blood loss. Other conditions can be dealt with at home, by a pharmacist or minor injuries unit at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bromsgrove.
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