On 3 June 2017, London was victim to a terrorist attack. The attack began at 21:58pm BST, when three man drove a white van across London Bridge and into pedestrians. Once off the bridge, the van crashed near a pub and the terrorists armed with knives, abandoned it and continued on foot.

They ran to Borough Market where they stabbed several people until eight minutes after the attack began, police shot the terrorists dead in a shower of bullets. The attackers targeted people in pubs and restaurants whilst civilians tried to stop them by throwing chairs and glasses.

As police told members of the public to run and hide, the ambulance services received more than 100 emergency calls about the attack. The so-called Islamic state group has claimed responsibility in the attack that killed seven people and put at least 48 in hospitals around London.

The NHS once again responded efficiently

The chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens, has paid tribute to the “professionalism and bravery” of the staff saying, "The NHS has again shown that we are ready and able to respond to such attacks.”

Ambulances and health officials arrived at the scene within six minutes.

In a joint statement, the chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings, and the National Medical Director for NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh, referred to the attacks in Manchester last week, saying, "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.”

Many medical staff came in despite being off-duty, to help. According to Malik Ramadhan, the divisional director of emergency care and trauma, at the Royal London Hospital where 12 attack-victims were taken, “Colleagues came flooding into the hospital to help. 10 consultants, 10 junior doctors and 20 to 30 nurses alone came into A&E.”

Hospitals activated their “major incident plans”

Emergency surgery lasting between one to four hours had to be performed on six patients. Patients suffered stab wounds, and blunt force injuries such as pelvic fractures from contact with the speeding van.

The additional staff that came into work helped maintain all operating theatres open and functioning as normal. “All the patients received the same standard of care they would have got at three o’clock in the afternoon, even though it was the middle of the night,” Ramadhan said.

Doctors did note the subdued atmosphere, however. Ramadhan said, “I think people were very conscious of the difference of this incident from the normal work that we do.”

“It was an incident that could happen to any of us, it couldn't be foreseen and clearly the patients were shocked in the non-medical sense.”

Despite this, the hospital is hopeful of a successful outcome for all 12 patients and aims to speak to staff about their emotions dealing with the tragedy, next week. MIMS

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