Over the past few days, northern Devon has seen the kind of weather that will be remembered for years to come.
But we have seen more than just unprecedented weather conditions. We have seen NHS staff going above and beyond to make sure our patients received the care they need, and we have seen incredible support from the community.
Our staff literally went the extra mile to help keep vital services running. Community nurses across northern Devon – Ilfracombe, Torrington, Holsworthy and more – walked for miles and even took to quad bikes to get to their patients’ homes.
Hospital staff walked for miles to get into work and offered to car-share and transport staff in 4x4s where possible, with some spending the night in makeshift beds.
The social care providers we support through Devon Cares pulled out all the stops too, making sure that everyone who needed social care support was visited. Where care workers were unable to get to people’s homes, NDHT community staff visited vulnerable people at home too.
To all these health and social care heroes, thank you for your incredible efforts.
A special thank you is reserved for the people across northern Devon who volunteered to drive 4x4s and even tractors to help our staff get to and from work as well as outlying communities. We had multiple offers of assistance, which came just as thick and fast as the falling snow. The community spirit has been absolutely phenomenal, and we are incredibly grateful for this.
Although we always plan for such events and our plans were implemented well, the maintenance of our services was made that much easier by the commitment and dedication of our staff and the overwhelming support of our local community.
On behalf of all at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, I want to say thank you for the extraordinary lengths you went to in order to help us keep our services running.
Times like this make it extraordinarily clear just how much people across northern Devon care for the NHS and care for each other. Thank you, once again, to everyone.
Dr Alison Diamond