Manchester incident

Mcr St Annes Sq

On 21 June, around 250 of our people involved in the response to the Manchester terror attack attended a reflection event. This was the first time we have organised such an event, not only because this major incident was one of the largest incidents we have dealt with in terms of the number of casualties and the presenting injuries, but it was also the first large scale major incident since the Derek Bird shootings in Cumbria in 2010.

Formally opening the day’s proceedings was Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.  Jon spoke of his pride of the whole NHS following this incident, and confirmed that the skilled clinical triage, high quality care and well managed distribution of patients to the right hospitals ensured that those who were seriously injured had the best chance of survival.  He stated that he was extremely impressed with how the whole NHS worked seamlessly together to ensure patients were managed in the best possible way.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham made a heartfelt speech, expressing his personal thanks for our immediate and co-ordinated response which he said undoubtedly saved many lives.  He also said how proud he was to hear of the stories of staff going the extra mile in offering to come in whilst off duty to help, and offers of staff working for free to give those who worked tirelessly throughout the night a rest day really touched him. 

Emergency medicine consultants Martin Smith, Scott Beattie and Rachel Jenner spoke of their involvement and representatives from across our services were invited to the stage to give their account of what they did on the night.  This was an opportunity for everyone to hear how each area responded and the impact this had on individuals.

At times staff became emotional, especially those on the front line when talking about the scene, however it was clearly established and repeated many times that the team working, along with the support and decision making behind the scenes, made our response and involvement a success.

The event was closed by special guest Tony Walsh, the Manchester born poet who wrote ‘This is the Place’.  Tony delivered his poem at the vigil in Manchester’s Albert Square the evening following the attack and received a warm welcome by staff as he again delivered his passionate poem.