Around 15 staff at a mental health unit in Norwich have been staying overnight after the snow and subzero temperatures made it difficult for them to get home.

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Workers at Hammerton Court, a dementia intensive care unit at the Julian Hospital in Norwich, avoided making dangerous journeys in the bad weather this week by having a sleep over at their workplace.

Those on shifts that finished late in the evening or started early in the morning were given the option to spend the night in spare beds on Beech Ward and will continue to be offered beds until the weather and driving conditions around the city improve.

Nicky Gordon, clinical team leader, said: “I don’t think anyone enjoys travelling in weather like we have had this week and we have had staff make some nightmare journeys. When we gave staff the chance not to have to travel it went down really well. From a clinical perspective it has meant we have had a full contingent of staff on all shifts this week and that is great.”

Staff nurse Harriet Allard, who stayed the night on Wednesday night, said: “It was good fun, just like being a teenager at a sleep over again! It also helped staff on the night shift, who knew there was extra help in the building in case other staff couldn’t get in.”

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