Whilst the snow and strong winds have severely affected the South West of England over the past few days, our staff have been working brilliantly. They are going above and beyond to help keep vital services running.
We have had multiple offers of assistance from volunteer drivers across North Devon and we are incredibly grateful for this. The community spirit has been absolutely phenomenal.
Thank you to everyone.
Here are just some of the stories from the past few days featuring NDHT staff and the North Devon community. We will update this page as more stories come through.
Community nurse takes to quad bike to see patients
Intrepid community nursing team manager Alison Tyrrell took to a quad bike to get to her most rural patients in the village of Parracombe.
Alison said, “Luckily, we got back before there was a complete whiteout, but the wind was vicious, blowing the snow into huge drifts. We had to dig the bike out twice!”
Chris Thomas, health and social care community services manager across Ilfracombe and South Molton, said: “During this exceptionally cold and snowy weather, our health and social care teams have gone above and beyond in so many ways to make sure that the most vulnerable people we serve are safe and receive the care they need. Some of our patients live in remote areas which have become ‘cut off’ from the outside world and we have examples of many staff walking miles to see people and working together to make sure all needs are met.
“Alison is a fabulous example of someone who always puts her patients first; working in treacherous conditions and digging herself out of snow drifts to make sure her patients are safe, well and get the treatments they need. This is just the sort of thing she would always do, being very used to working in remote locations and taking it all I her stride.”
Colleagues in Lyn Health GP practice in Lynton also went above and beyond to defy the snow and ensure that patients were cared for. Read more here.
Farmer helps NDDH emergency department staff get to work
Local farmer Raymond Dart helped ED staff get to work by tractor.
— lucy bates (@LucyTotty) March 2, 2018
Volunteer drivers help staff get to work and get home
A huge thank you to Petroc, who very kindly loaned their 4×4, which was driven by Wayne Gaish, Petroc’s head of IT. Wayne volunteered to brave the blizzard conditions during the night to collect nursing staff from as far as Holsworthy and Bude for the night shift at NDDH, and returned them safely home this morning.
Ian Roome, head of fundraising and volunteering, was among the volunteer drivers helping transport staff. He was loaned a 4×4 from Abbey Road Garage in Barnstaple free of charge to help with transport.
Ian Roome said: “Mullacott Cross was horrendous last night, absolutely thick with snow. My last drop was in Ilfracombe at 11.30pm last night and I was up again at 5am today doing the same.
“It’s great to see everyone pulling together to make sure NHS staff can get to work. I’ve always thought the community spirit in North Devon is amazing, and during this bad weather this has really shone through.”
Bideford and Northam district nurses keep up care in the community
— Matthew Kelly (@claudemattkelly) March 2, 2018