Continuing to Deliver our Health Services Through the Snow

NHS Lothian staff are continuing to deliver essential health services to patients across Lothian throughout the snowy weather.

Despite experiencing additional pressures across some services due to the snow, most clinics and appointments across NHS Lothian are still running as normal.

Today only 493 out of 28,000 staff didn’t make it into work, and of those a large number were able to either work from home, or work from their closest clinical site.

A small number of appointments have been cancelled due to staff shortages, but most clinics are continuing to run as normal.

Elective orthopaedic surgery has been cancelled for tomorrow (Thurs) but will return to normal on Friday, while some appointments at Roodlands in East Lothian have also been cancelled.

Patients who are affected are being contacted by telephone, but patients should call the number on their surgical appointment letter in advance to double check.

Some patients have cancelled their own appointments because they are unable to make it in, and this has freed up more capacity.

The patient transport service is running a restricted service to allow the Scottish Ambulance Service to get to those patients who are most at need.

Prof Charles Swainson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said:

“We are currently experiencing additional pressures across some of our services but we are continuing to manage these pressures with the resources we have in place.

“I’d like to say a special thanks to all of our staff who have battled through difficult conditions to make it into work this week and who are ensuring our essential services are continuing to run.

“Of those staff who haven’t made it in, a large number have either been working from home, or from the closest clinical site. We’ve also had some trained clinical staff, who are currently working in different roles, returning to the wards to ensure we could continue providing treatment for our patients.

“I’d also like to say thank you to those patients who have let us know when they haven’t been able to make their appointments, as this has helped us to cope with the extra demand we are facing.

“Patients, visitors and staff should still take extra care when travelling, restrict journeys to those which are absolutely necessary, and use public transport where possible.”

Ends

Issued: 01.12.2010

Aileen MacArthur

Acting Communications Manager

0131 465 5646

Aileen.macarthur@nhs.net

Website: http://www.