The ‘Beast from the East’ hit the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead in the early hours of Tuesday 27th February, maintaining its grip though until Saturday 3rd March, bringing extreme weather conditions involving several inches of snow, the like of which had not been seen since 2010. Conditions only to be compounded later in the week by storm Emma.
With the ‘Beast from the East’ raging, crippling many transports routes to the hospital, dedicated QE Facilities staff braved the elements to reach the site ahead of ‘normal operating hours’ and swung into action using shovels and make shift snow ploughs to ensure staff, patients and visitors were able to access the hospital sites so patient care would continue as normal as possible. Many staff remaining on site all day as snow continued to fall. This was a picture to be repeated for the following three days.
All QEF services remained open despite the unprecedented difficulties, with some amazing individual stories of how QE Facilities staff were determined to make it into work, with some actually staying at the hospital over night to ensure they were available for work the next morning.
QEF’s team work epitomised the Company’s values of ‘professional, proud and passionate’.
The amazing efforts and the contribution made to the operation of the hospital sites during this severe weather has been recognised by Trust colleagues. Comments received include;-
“I couldn’t let the outstanding work/effort/commitment/bravery/dedication (I could go on) that I have witnessed by your transport manager and his team in the Transport Service over the last 48 hours go by without raising it with you. I know we are not through this challenging period yet, but having been on-call on Tuesday and then working alongside your team over the past couple of days has been humbling, uplifting and inspiring – they have gone so far above and beyond that words really don’t cover it – I know many of your other teams (including catering, domestics and estates in particular) have worked superbly in partnership with the Trust over recent days, but I particularly wanted to say thank you to the Transport team – on behalf of patients as well as staff – as we certainly couldn’t have done without PB and the team”
“ I just want to thank you and your teams for the work you put in over that last few days following the severe winter weather. I know your teams worked hard to clear snow and grit paths to keep the site as safe as possible for staff and visitors. It is much appreciated”
“Facilities, Estates and security staff have been fantastic in ensuring pathways and roads are fully gritted and helping staff and patients dig out snow from their cars.
Thank you to all staff, it has been great to see everyone come together to support each other and once again making sure patient care has not been compromised.”
A massive thanks to all QE Facilities staff and well done to all.