Staff at a hospital in Dartford have gone above and beyond to make sure the weather doesn't get in the way of service.

Doctors and nurses at Darent Valley have been sleeping at the hospital this week to avoid missing shifts or getting caught out by the 'beast from the east' or Storm Emma.

One newly qualified nurse left his home in Canterbury at 3.30am on February 27 - roughly three hours before his shift started - by gritting his drive with cat litter to get his Fiat Panda on the road to Dartford.

He is one of a number of staff who have made the hospital their second home this week during the treacherous weather conditions.

A spokesman told News Shopper: "Staff have been staying here so they can be here back the next day.

"A number of staff do outstanding things to get in during the weather and so far it hasn't affected us to badly and that is a credit to them."

The spokesman added that staff have been staying everywhere from accommodation to offices to the on call room.

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson paid tribute to the workers at Darent Valley for their hard work during a tough week. 

He told News Shopper: "It’s magnificent but unsurprising that many staff members have gone well beyond the call of duty to keep Darent Valley open.

"At times like this we rely heavily on all the emergency services and right across Dartford I am hearing of those who have gone the extra mile to keep the area moving and ensure local people get the help they need."

Hospital workers have been battling the road conditions in 4x4s to collect others living in remote areas to make sure the hospital keeps running.

So far Darent Valley has not had to cancel any operations or turn any patients away.

The hospital has told patients to attend the hospital as normal unless they hear otherwise.