News and Notices

Are you winter ready?

Please see below for tips and guidance for dealing with winter weather whilst working.


Requesting a 4x4

As part of the Trust’s winter weather contingency plan there is a limited provision of 4x4s to support the delivery of patient care. This is a scarce resource so please be considerate when asking for help.  Requests for support will only be approved if the following criteria is met: Care of a vulnerable person is in jeopardy. An example of this would be: a Community Nurse urgently needs to get out to a vulnerable patient in an area that is effected by snow/ice.


Requests from staff for transport to or from work will be rejected unless it is an emergency situation and all other options have been exploited. The staff member’s line manager will need to raise such a request on their behalf.


If you have met the criteria and require 4x4 support then contact: -

o   During office hours (7 days): the Clinical Navigation at Clay Cross on 01246 252934. During periods of inclement weather these will be available from 6am.

o   Out of hours (7 days): DCHS On-Call Manager via Radbourne Unit Switchboard on 01332 623700 (ask for DCHS’ On-Call Manager).


What to do if the weather is bad

Keeping yourself safe


- Driving in winter is different to at other times of the year - ROSPA have produced some helpful winter driving tips.

- If you drive to work, consider where you leave your car to ensure it is safe and accessible. It might be best to leave

it closer to a main road, particularly if you live on a steep road or have a steep drive.

- Be prepared, check your vehicle before you set off, wear warm clothing, take your mobile telephone and a drink with


- Wear appropriate footwear and try to avoid carrying too much to reduce the risk of slips and trips. Estates monitor

weather forecasts and manage a programme of gritting across our sites, but this won’t always be complete when you

arrive at work so take extra care.


-  Has your team got lone working arrangements in place? Do you know what this is? The DCHS

Lone Worker Operating Standard includes guidance, but the Health and Safety team can advise further -  

Health and Safety


Unable to get in to work?

·      If you are unable to get into work you must inform your line manager ASAP.

·      If you can help out in another area or site then please contact them to offer support.

·      Managers should refer to section 4.5.4 of the Special Leave Policy (HRP03) for HR guidance around inclement weather. 


Be prepared to work 'agile'

  • Make sure you have remote access rights on your smartcard if you think you might need to  work remotely.  Please test this before needing it an emergency! Find out more about smartcards here.

  • If you are working agile, please remember you don’t need to use remote access (the VPN) to access Outlook or files stored on your desktop.

  • Staff need to work with their line manager to agree service cover and arrangements when alternative plans need to be made.

  • There are lists of bookable hot desk locations on Workspace Manager.

  • The Agile web page has an interactive guide for agile non-bookable space including where DCHS wi-fi can be used in dining rooms, and non DCHS premises.

  • Staff need to remember:

    • their equipment - ie laptop or Toughbooks, phone and chargers if they are working from an alternative location.  Don't assume these will be available in an 'agile' location.

    • their IG training; please ensure those around you don't see or hear anything they shouldn’t.

    • their manners! Here is a list of tips and etiquette for working from an alternative location, including advice on restricting background noise and distractions