A VOLUNTEER 4x4 group carried out more than 400 journeys during the snow to make sure NHS workers could get to work to care for residents.

The Herefordshire 4x4 Response team worked tirelessly under the direction of Herefordshire Council's Emergency Planning team transporting doctors, nurses and care workers to and from the county hospital and also district nurses out on their rounds.

They travelled as far as Birmingham to collect doctors and responders were still out working on Sunday.

Vice Chairman and deputy controller Charlie Bennett said: "On behalf of Steve Wright, our chairman, I would like to say a massive thank you and a big thumbs up to all of our controllers and drivers and a big thanks to the staff at the county hospital for keeping us fed and watered."

Wye Valley NHS Trust has paid tribute to many of its staff who battled through the atrocious snow storms.

Jon Barnes, the trust’s chief operating officer, said: “Our staff members responded magnificently and they made a real difference to the quality of care we’ve been able to provide our patients.

“We’ve lost count of the many great examples we’ve heard of staff supporting patients, supporting each other and going the extra mile in our communities to deliver health care.”

He added that a number of staff struggled through terrible conditions to get to work, with many working extra hours and staying in or near their local hospital so they could attend work.

Others opened their homes to other staff to stay in when they couldn’t get home and others set up and ran a transport coordination hub so volunteer 4x4 drivers could collect and return staff who were stranded at home.

Jane Ives, the trust’s managing director, added: “It was an outstanding response from a professional and dedicated workforce. Of course, we weren’t in this alone, and we salute our colleagues from the emergency services, Herefordshire Council and colleagues working in the NHS across the county who all stepped up to the mark during what was the most significant weather event to hit the county for a number of years."

There were also other volunteer drivers out and about, including Aaron Mullen from tattoo and piercing studio Body Mods in Maylord Shopping Centre.

He put out a call on Facebook on his Body Mods UK page saying he could help in an emergency as he has a 4x4. As a result he took carers to their jobs at nursing homes and also helped pharmacy dispensers take medication to the elderly.

Mr Mullen, from Hinton, was out and about since 7.30am on Friday. He said: "I love it. Where we are from in Scotland we used to do it all the time. As soon as it snowed we would sit down at the bus stop and help out where we could. We used to go to 30 to 40 incidents in a day. I am used to driving in it."