Hospital staff camp out on wards to defy snowy weather
NHS staff who slept in wards to ensure patient services could continue despite the weather have been praised by the public.
Medical staff stayed overnight at Sunderland Royal Hospital, while others who were brought in by 4×4 volunteer drivers will do so on Thursday night into Friday.
When the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust posted a message about its staff and asked for the public to thank them, more than 20,000 people "liked" it.
And the page was flooded with messages of gratitude.
One person wrote: "What dedication! The NHS wouldn't run without people like you all."
Paediatric nurse Lisa Gerrett, 38, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, was brought in to work by a volunteer driver in a 4×4 and will stay over at the hospital so she can work on Friday.
The mother of four said: "I am on shift today and tomorrow and even if I could get home tonight, I would still have to manage to get in again in the morning, and I'd be relying on another 4×4 driver.
"If I stay, it means the driver can collect other nurses.
"It also means I can cover for night staff who cannot get in, if necessary."
Mrs Gerrett said there had been a lot of praise for staff.
"The NHS has been slated for different things over the years, so the fact that the public has recognised this is great," she said.
"It makes it all worthwhile."
The trust's Facebook post showed beds made up for staff, with toiletries ready for them.
A hospital spokeswoman said: "It has been a massive team effort to make sure there is minimal disruption.
"The camaraderie shown has been pretty amazing."