DOCTORS and nurses have been getting help to visit critically ill local patients in the snow and ice from local 4x4 drivers.
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals, thanked volunteers such as Richard Smith, chairman of the Midland Rover Owner’s Club, who helped medics reach seven Solihull patients last Friday.
Richard, a mechanical electrical service engineer, said: “I wouldn’t go quite as far as being a fourth emergency service but we’re there to help.
“The doctors and nurses comment to us that we take the pressure off. They can just concentrate on helping their patients, not worrying about driving.
“Plus we get to play out in the snow, doing what we like doing, driving our Land Rovers.
“(4x4 drivers) get a lot of bad press but we’re pretty nice guys all year round.
“We helped out in the heavy snow a few years ago, and in the floods. We’re always willing to lend a hand.”
Around 20 4x4 drivers volunteered to take the medical staff to crucial home visits in the borough, providing care and medicines to critically ill patients, during the last weekend’s treacherous driving conditions.
“It’s giving a little back,” added the 48-year-old. “You never know when you’ll need these people.”
A Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said they had been “overwhelmed” by the response to their call for volunteer drivers.
“We have received more than 100 calls from owners of 4x4 vehicles from across the region.
“We would like to thank all volunteers for their generosity during this challenging weather and would like to confirm we now have all our transportation covered.”