STAFF at the Royal Berkshire Hospital say out-patient clinics and day surgery services are expected to be operating normally tomorrow.

The assurance also extends to the services the Reading hospital runs at the West Berkshire Community Hospital in Thatcham, the Royal Berkshire Bracknell Clinic, Townlands Hospital at Henley and the Prince Charles Eye Clinic in Windsor.

Royal Berks spokesman Joe Wise said today: "In the unlikely event that any individual appointments are affected in any way we will contact the patient directly. However, we would emphasise the importance of people exercising common sense about deciding if it is safe for them to travel. "Patients - particularly the elderly - should attend their appointment only if it is safe to do so. We would also encourage visitors not to make any non-essential trips." Mr Wise added: "Please take extra care on the roads and pavements as you make your way in and allow yourself extra time for your journey if you do feel safe to travel.

"If you need to come to our Emergency Department please assess if your visit is urgent. It might be quicker and safer for you to visit your GP or local walk-in centre.

The Royal Berks has also taken extra precautions to help staff working late night or early morning shifts by booking 40 hotel rooms in Reading. Its four-wheel drive vehicle has also been available to collect key staff living in outlying areas and to take clinical staff to visit patients in need of emergency care but unable to leave home.