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Hospital appointments cancelled as staff struggle to get to work in heavy snow

PUBLISHED: 12:42 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:59 28 February 2018

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) in the snow. Photo: Rich Till

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) in the snow. Photo: Rich Till

NNUH

Appointments for some patients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) have been cancelled after staff struggled to get to work in heavy snow.

The hospital told patients to stay at home today (Wednesday) and tomorrow morning if they are due to attend routine outpatient appointments or they are booked for a planned procedure.

The hospital said it will rearrange patients’ appointments and write to those affected.

Peter Chapman, medical director at NNUH, said: “If your appointment could be delayed, please don’t attend for your outpatients and electives this afternoon and tomorrow morning. This is because of staff shortages but also concerns about the safety of our patients travelling to the hospital in the bad conditions.

MORE: Determined NHS staff vow ‘snow will not beat us’ despite being stranded in standstill traffic

He added: “If there are staff who are not on duty and could get in, please do so and come to operations centre.”

At the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, patients were told to attend their appointments on Wednesday if it was safe to do so. Or to contact them if you cannot make it.

However eye clinic appointments were cancelled at Beccles Hospital and a spokesman said appointments on Thursday had been cancelled.

He said: “Unfortunately, we have had to make the decision to postpone all outpatient appointments on Thursday with the exception of those that are clinically urgent. This is to ensure that our wards are sufficiently staffed to care for our patients. Patients affected by these postponements will be contacted – so, if you don’t hear from us, please attend hospital as planned.”

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King’s Lynn, said it had been largely unaffected by the snow.

A spokesman for Norfolk Community Health and Care (NCHC) said: “Due to the severe weather NCHC is currently prioritising essential community visits to ensure our core services are provided. This means that while all our patients needing essential treatments, such as insulin, are being visited today, some of our appointments are being deferred with patients being informed where possible.”

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