Army called in to transport vital NHS staff to hospitals

From BBC - March 1, 2018

The Army has been drafted in to help 200 NHS staff get to work in Edinburgh.

Using 4x4 vehicles provided by the Ministry of Defence, Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, soldiers started moving staff on Thursday evening.

They will support shift changes at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the Western General hospitals while the severe weather continues.

The amber weather warning remains for most of Scotland until 10:00 on Friday.

NHS Scotland faces a potentially critical situation because of the impact on weather conditions has had on their staff's ability to move to and from work.

'Dedication and sense of duty'

Patient transfer will continue to be provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service, who have sufficient staffing levels.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "Our Armed Forces stand ready to help as Britain is hit by severe weather.

"Our service personnel are showing great dedication and a spirited sense of duty as they support local authorities and keep people safe."

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "The Scottish Government's Resilience Coordination Centre is continuing to work with local authorities and public services across Scotland and ensure they have the support they need and we have acted quickly on a specific request from NHS Lothian.

"My priority is the safety of staff and patients and the measures we have put in place will ensure these are protected during challenging circumstances."

It comes after several commercial companies that use 4x4 vehicles worked together to get healthcare staff to and from two hospitals in Glasgow.

Sixteen vehicles and drivers have been on the roads of the west of Scotland helping out.

'A big help'


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