Twelve months on from the Beast to the East, we now have a crack team of winter transport specialists trained to transport patients or essential healthcare equipment no matter the weather.
We hired 16 4x4 vehicles over winter and placed them across strategic key services to ensure a rapid response during any dreadful weather.
A milder winter meant there was no need to deploy the vehicles, however staff capitalised on this to develop an adverse weather training programme.
Tom Steele, director of Director of Facilities and Estates, said: “Every year we look back at any challenges the previous winter has brought and how we can better meet them in the year ahead.
“This winter has been very mild compared to some we’ve seen in the past for the West of Scotland. That gave us the perfect opportunity to build on our staff’s existing skills and put in place a system to ensure we can play our role in keeping services moving during bad weather.
“By the end of April 60 staff will have completed training at a dedicated off-road site which has been developed to mirror conditions they could potentially face during a bad winter.
“Our aim is to be able to transfer patients or vital equipment no matter the weather our drivers face and keep vital services moving.
“We always make preparations for such scenarios in our winter plans; however this additional training for even more drivers means we have a larger and more skilled pool of drivers who have the potential to play a vital role in ensuring service as usual if a bad winter strikes.”
Vehicles were based at key sites including Inverclyde Royal Hospital, the Vale of Leven, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, New Stobhill and Gartnavel General.