Trust denies claims late-to-work nurses were forced to do overtime during bad weather

The NHS Trust has denied making nurses work overtime if they were late due to the bad weather.
The NHS Trust has denied making nurses work overtime if they were late due to the bad weather.

Claims that hospital nurses were forced to work overtime if they arrived late for work during snowy weather have been strongly denied.

David Melia, director of nursing and quality at Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust, said allegations that staff had to make up their hours if their morning commute was disrupted by the recent icy weather were “completely wrong”.

The claims were made during a meeting of Wakefield Council’s Health Scrutiny Panel on Thursday by committee member Jack Williamson.

But Mr Melia insisted that staff were “not punished” if they arrived late for work. He also said that if nurses lived closer to another hospital within the Trust they were asked to report there, instead of their usual place of work.

Mr Williamson said: “His (Mr Melia’s) staff had to work late and stay behind if they were late during the snow. It’s appalling.

“These kids make the NHS what it is and you’ve made them work late.”

But Mr Melia, who was present at the meeting to answer questions about the Trust’s performance during the past year, said: “I completely refute that. That’s completely wrong.

“We didn’t make staff work late. If they came in late we welcomed them in. If they weren’t able to come into the hospital where they normally work at we asked if they could go to one that was nearer to where they lived.

“We had staff living towards Dewsbury who instead of coming to work at Pontefract Hospital, they went to work in Dewsbury instead.

He added: “We’ve not punished staff for coming in late.”

Much of West Yorkshire suffered severe disruption to its transport network in early March as snow and ice hit for several days.