HEALTH bosses issued a massive thank you to staff who went above and beyond to get to work despite the arctic conditions last week.

Staff were praised for heroic efforts to get to work in the snow. Some workers even stayed over in the office or stayed in hotels to make sure they were available and on hand for their next shift.

Jon Rouse, chief officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, praised staff for how well they coped.

Mr Rouse said: “I am incredibly proud of the dedicated NHS and social care staff and volunteers overcoming snow and freezing conditions to do their job this week.

“Staff have been fighting their way through snow to get to housebound patients who need treatment and medication —the care of other people has been their upmost priority.

"I also want to say thank you to our partners who have supported us, for example, in providing additional 4x4 transport.

“Staff have been heroically battling to get to work despite the atrocious conditions, getting up in the very early hours to dig out cars to get to work on time, some staying over at work or staying in hotels to ensure they get in the next day and persevering in waiting in the cold for delayed public transport.

“A big thanks to the staff and of course the volunteers who have gone the extra mile to make sure that people get the care and treatment that they have needed this week.”

Mr Rouse reported that the Royal Bolton Hospital coped well with the cold snap and even cut the numbers of people waiting for an hour or more in ambulances. Towards the end of February as temperatures dropped as low as -3C Bolton NHS Hospital Trust had 15 people waiting an hour to be transferred from an ambulance.

But the week before when temperatures hovered around the 0C mark, 28 people had been delayed by an hour or more in an ambulance.

A total of 596 people came to hospital in Bolton by ambulance in the week beginning Monday, February 19, compared to 549 the week before.

Of the 596, 41 patients were delayed between 30 and 60 minutes while being transferred and 15 were delayed for more than an hour.

The week before, of the 549, 53 patients waited between 30 and 60 minutes and 28 people waited longer.

The admittance and care figures for Greater Manchester released by NHS England were highlighted by Mr Rouse.

The figures for the week beginning February 19 show despite the cold weather creeping in hospitals coped well and there were no A&E closures in Greater Manchester hospitals.