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Doctors prepared for future terror attacks

Commuters walking home across London Bridge on a rainy night

EDITORIAL ONLY
LONDON BRIDGE: Three terrorists drove a van at pedestrians and attacked pub goers

A doctor who treated victims of last weekend’s London Bridge terror attack, has said that medical teams remain vigilant and ready to respond.

Emergency medicine consultant Malik Ramadhan said that staff were ready and prepared to deal with future attacks.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Ramadhan, who is director of emergency care and trauma at the Royal London Hospital, said that recent previous terror incidents in London and Manchester had meant staff were already in a heightened state of readiness.

He added that the city-wide medical response to the London Bridge attack had seen on-call teams joined by off-duty staff, who had volunteered to come in to assist their colleagues.

He said: ‘The major trauma system in London has been preparing itself for something to happen.

‘Talking to people, given what's been happening [in London and Manchester], maybe what you'd normally do on a Saturday night is not what people are doing just at the moment. People are ready.

‘The first responders – the first people that took patients to theatres – were the people who were on call who were expecting to potentially operate that evening.

‘By the time the third or fourth patient goes to theatre it’s people; nurses doctors radiographers and operating staff who have come in on an entirely voluntary basis because they have heard there is a problem.’

 

'Above and beyond'

BMA council chair Mark Porter praised the resilience and dedication of the capital’s medical teams.

He said: ‘As with the attacks in Westminster and Manchester, doctors and their clinical colleagues have once again shown that they are willing to go above and beyond when confronted with incredibly trying and terrible circumstances.

The attack, which took place at multiple sites around the London Bridge area on 3 June, saw seven people killed and 48 injured.

Casualties were cared for in a total of five hospitals across the capital, with NHS England confirming that 21 patients remained in critical conditions as of 4 June.

A statement issued by NHS England national medical director Sir Bruce Keogh and chief nursing officer Jane Cummings paid tribute to the response of emergency teams both for their effectiveness and bravery.

They said: ‘The appalling events in London last night follow all too fast on the heels of the dreadful attacks we have seen on Westminster Bridge and in Manchester over recent weeks. Our thoughts are with everyone affected.

‘On each occasion we have seen both the worst and the best of humanity. Last night, once again, the NHS and other emergency services reacted swiftly and heroically, going towards the danger to help the injured.

‘Tried and tested emergency plans were activated, with London Ambulance Service on the scene within six minutes. NHS staff across the capital have also volunteered to work extra shifts and through the night to help the emergency response.’

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