Published: 06/02/2003, Volume II3, No. 5841 Page 8

A Hertfordshire hospital was cut off for 12 hours when snow left parts of the capital in gridlock last week.

Wintery conditions meant ambulances could not gain access to Barnet Hospital from about 4.30pm last Thursday.

Dozens of outpatients and visitors were forced to stay on site overnight in day surgery beds and relatives' rooms.

Meanwhile, managers and administrative staff stranded at the hospital were forced to sleep on trolleys in corridors.

A spokesman for Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals trust said clinical staff worked double shifts because their replacements could not get into work.

Emergency admissions were diverted to local hospitals, but two women in labour were brought in by police.

The spokesman said both the canteen and hospital radio remained in service throughout the night. He added: 'Staff were magnificent... but they were very pleased to see the grit on the roads the next morning.'