Local Businesses To The Rescue

Local businesses came to the rescue when deliveries of bread and milk were unable to reach Forth Valley Royal Hospital during the recent adverse weather. The generosity of local supermarkets – (including Tesco in Falkirk and Asda in Stenhousemuir) – came in for particular praise from NHS Forth Valley and facilities provider Serco for donating supplies of bread milk for local patients and staff.

Local bakers Oliphants spent a whole day making bread and subsequently delivered 100 loaves to the hospital. Campbell Brothers, who supply meat and fish, prioritised deliveries to the hospital and made sure it was of the few orders which got through on Thursday 2nd March 2018.  A driver from Kingsmill bakery pulled up outside Forth Valley Royal Hospital and offloaded 400 loaves, pancakes, fruit loaves and hot cross buns for free, as he was unable to reach supermarkets on his normal delivery route. The generous donation was distributed to patients across the hospital and remaining supplies left in the hospital restaurant the following day for staff and visitors.

Rae Kelso, Serco Catering Administrator at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, said:  “We really appreciate the kindness of local people and businesses we approached for help. One lady outside a local Tesco commented on the amount of bread and milk I was carrying but when I told her it was for patients at the hospital she kindly offered me a lift in her four wheel drive vehicle!”

Many of the the heroic efforts made by local NHS staff to reach their place of work were highlighted on social media.  This included clinical and support staff who walked long distances in difficult conditions to reach hospitals, GP practices and health centres  and a  porter who got up at 3.30am to walk for two hours to work a shift at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Pop up accommodation was put in place in the Outpatients Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for staff who volunteered to stay overnight to care for patients the next day. Outpatient Manager Sharon Hamilton even went to the effort of leaving chocolates on the pillows as a small token of appreciation for local staff and one ward sister and a doctor hit the shops to buy clothes for colleagues who couldn’t get home.

Cathie Cowan, Chief Executive, NHS Forth Valley, said “The kindness and generosity shown by local staff, businesses, voluntary organisations and members of the public across Forth Valley has been overwhelming and I would like to thank everyone who has provided assistance to help maintain essential health services.”

Trossachs Search and Rescue tweeted they had all three of their 4x4s in action, delivering emergency prescriptions to Fintry and Buchlyvie and transporting nurses to and from Forth Valley Royal. Other organisations making valiant attempts to help with transport included Forth Valley First Responders, Red Cross, SP Energy Networks, Ecosse Autos in Bo’ness and McEwan Blacksmiths in Menstrie.

One GP reported being able to get to Buchlyvie surgery courtesy of a tractor – provided by a colleague’s husband!  Another doctor, who walked from Bridge of Allan to Dunblane  Medical Practice was by-passed by a colleague whizzing past in a 4×4, not realising that the ‘strange character walking the road bedecked in two scarves, hood, tammy and shades, was actually someone they worked with!.  However the day was saved when a community nurse arranged to have them collected in a 4×4 in what the doctor described as an ‘extremely challenging situation’ due to snow.

Another doctor set off from his home in Bridge of Allan with the intention of walking to Forth Valley Royal Hospital – a distance of more than 14 miles. Fortunately he was offered a lift by local police which saved him completing a gruelling four hour journey on foot.