Royal London Hospital staff awarded OBEs for their work during London Bridge attack
PUBLISHED: 10:39 31 December 2018
Workers from the Royal London Hospital who cared for patients following the London Bridge attack have been honoured in the New Year's Honours List.
Joy Ongachuy, Dr Malik Ramadhan, and Emma Senyard received an Office of the British Empire Awards (OBE) for their work.
Joy, a robotic lead nurse, was working the night shift during the attack. Dr Ramadhan, an emergency consultant, ensured injured patients had their surgery on time, while Emma, the associate director of nursing, arranged psychological support for staff after the attack.
Eight people were killed when three men drove a van into pedestrians on June 3, 2017. All three attackers were shot dead by police, but scores of people, including police officers, were injured.
“I was working the night shift that night and I heard the anaesthetist’s bleep go off,” Joy said.
“We already had a really sick patient in one of our theatres, so I had to get our other theatres ready and pull a team of nurses, allied health professionals and operating department practitioners together.
“We opened an additional six theatres that night and everyone I called dropped everything they were doing to come to the aid of the patients. No one panicked, everyone was calm and supportive.”
Dr Malik was the resuscitation room commander that night. He made sure patients had scans and surgery on time, and there was always sufficient people looking after them.
“Everyone rallies around in a crisis, it’s what we’re all built for,” he said.
“We performed emergency surgery on six patients lasting between an hour and three to four hours. Two people had been stabbed in the neck and another had been stabbed in the torso. The other three had blunt force injuries, including pelvic fractures, limb fractures and head injuries. We had one patient who had been shot.
“The sort of injuries that we saw are not uncommon at The Royal London, but we don’t normally have so many patients coming in at once.”
For Emma, her vital work came after the attack. She arranged daily support from a psychologist and counsellor to help her team.
“The London Bridge attack was a difficult time for my team,” she said.
“In times like this, London really pulls together and although the circumstances weren’t ideal, the support we received from Londoners, gifts from the community, and a very special visit from the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall was really appreciated.”
Jackie Sullivan, managing director of the Royal London and Mile End hospitals, said: “We couldn’t be prouder that Joy, Malik and Emma were recognised. “Their leadership, compassion and integrity is inspiring every day, but was especially true at a time when Londoners relied on us to be there for them.”