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Assistance to transport Edinburgh staff.
As difficult weather continues with the Amber snow warning in place for much of Scotland, steps are being taken to ensure NHS staff are able to safely travel to and from their workplace, with particular challenges faced by NHS Lothian.
Emergency services and the military will provide assistance in transporting staff working at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the Western General hospitals. The Ministry of Defence will provide several 4x4 vehicles and drivers to transport around 200 clinical and support staff to and from work. This will be supplemented by two Police Scotland vehicles and eight from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
Patient transfer will continue to be provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service, who have confirmed they have sufficient staffing levels.
The amber weather warning remains for most of Scotland until 10am on Friday and the clear advice is to avoid travel wherever possible. People should continue to expect significant disruption to travel and difficult road conditions overnight and into the morning.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said:
“Our emergency services across Scotland are doing a fantastic job during very difficult circumstances to keep people safe through the challenging and unprecedented weather conditions we’ve experienced this week.
“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.
“Many areas of Scotland continue to see very difficult and dangerous conditions – that is why the amber warning will remain in place overnight and tomorrow morning.
“I urge people to heed the advice and avoid travel if at all possible as the weather is still potentially life-threatening. We can also expect continued significant disruption on the transport networks in the coming days.
“We are working with all the relevant agencies to co-ordinate efforts and further updates will be provided as quickly as possible.”