COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY: NHS providers in eastern and coastal Kent have signalled they are to increase their 4x4 vehicle capacity after finding themselves reliant on other organisations during the pre-Christmas period of bad weather.

The primary care trust’s board said overall the local health economy had coped “very well” through this “challenging” period of snow in December.

It noted this was down to good links and communications with partner agencies and mutual aid and support being provided at vital times.

Bu the board was told: “Through review of management during the periods of snow, it became apparent how much the NHS relied upon partner organisations, for the provision of four wheel drive capability, both to move staff and to get to rural, housebound patients.

“Both East Kent Hospitals and Eastern and Coastal Kent Community Health NHS Trust have put plans in place to reduce their reliance on the provision of four wheel drive capacity by partners during these times.”