A SPECIAL response team was called into action over the weekend to ensure health professionals in Worcester and the surrounding area could get to work in the snow.

Gloucestershire and Worcestershire 4x4 Response (GW4X4R), part of a national network, were put onto standby from 2pm on Saturday afternoon, with forecasts predicting the heaviest snowfall in years.

24 of the units 50 drivers were drafted in and began to prepare themselves, checking their vehicles and equipment, whilst the controllers readied their radios and IT systems.

Phil Dews, a trustee of GW4X4R, said: “During the bad weather, we provided an invaluable service to transport health professionals and other personnel and items where roads were impassable by car.

“When the snow fell, the jobs started coming in thick and fast and drivers were being despatched all across the Worcestershire and Gloucestershire area from around 7am on Sunday morning."

The 121 journeys undertaken by the drivers Sunday-Tuesday included collecting care workers from Worcester, Wolverhampton and Stourport, and taking them to a care home for learning disabilities in Bromsgrove.

Nurses were also collected from their homes and taken to the various hospitals in the regions.

“We were collecting workers from their homes and essentially taking them to where they were needed,” said Mr Dews.

“Everyone’s houses were cut off, so people just couldn’t get out without our help.”

He drove from Tenbury Wells to Wolverhampton, Bewdley, Stourbridge and Worcester, collecting care workers and taking them to Bromsgrove over five hours on Sunday.

The team also ensured, “the safety of other road users by removing fallen branches and trees that could cause a danger on the road”.

The mileage has not yet been calculated but is believed to be in excess of 2,500 miles driven between the drivers.