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Hospital staff get extra day's holiday after work during snowy conditions

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Hospital staff have been rewarded with an extra day's holiday after maintaining an "excellent service" during the recent cold snap.

Workers at hospitals across the Wakefield district struggled to get into work last month when ice and snow hit the region.

Claims last week that nurses had been forced to work overtime if they arrived late into work because of the weather were strongly denied by the Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust.

Director of nursing David Melia said the claims, made in a council scrutiny meeting on Thursday, were "completely wrong" and that staff were "welcomed in" if they were late.

Now staff have been given an additional day's annual leave in recognition of their work during the past year.

Regional branch secretary of UNISON, Adrian O'Malley, said the Trust should be praised for the gesture, which was made in response to the union's request that latecoming staff should not do overtime.

He said: “Many of our members struggled, alongside patients trying to attend appointments, to get to their hospitals and clinics during the recent bad weather. Others were stranded at home and could not get to work due to the dangerous conditions on the roads.

“It is to everyone’s credit that the Trust managed to maintain an excellent service during this time to the local community.

“The Trust Directors announced at the Trust Partnership Forum earlier this month that all employees will be given an extra day's annual leave this year.

"We congratulate the Trust Board for making this decision and recognising the hard work of our members, not just during the recent bad weather but all year round.”

In an email sent out on Tuesday, the Trust's chief executive Martin Barkley told staff they had responded to "huge" service pressures over the winter in "an excellent way".

He wrote: "On behalf of the Board of Directors I want to reiterate our huge thanks for your hard work, dedication and ongoing commitment to help meet the needs of the patients and public we are here to serve, whether you are working directly with patients or in a support role like me."