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'NHS is not ready for another 7/7 bombings', claims Royal London doctor

PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 July 2010 | UPDATED: 16:14 05 October 2010

LONDON is not medically prepared for another terror attack, an East End doctor claimed this week. A consultant in emergency medicine at the Royal London Hospital, Dr Anne Weaver, told the Advertiser that patients across London could be at risk of receiv

LONDON is not medically prepared for another terror attack, an East End doctor claimed this week.

A consultant in emergency medicine at the Royal London Hospital, Dr Anne Weaver, told the Advertiser that patients across London could be at risk of receiving insufficient medical care at the scene of the accident if the capital was hit with a repeat of the July 7 bombings.

The claim came as Londoners commemorated the fifth anniversary of the attacks that left 52 innocent people dead and more than 700 injured.

On the day in 2005, Dr Weaver - who is now lead clinician for London's Air Ambulance, based at the hospital in Whitechapel - was responsible for co-ordinating the rescue teams from the Royal London.

She claims it was "lucky" there was a special meeting for senior doctors and nurses that day, so there were around 16 doctors and 16 paramedics on hand to help.

Dr Weaver said: "There was a lot of luck that day that enabled London to cope with the problem. It was not by planning or judgement.

"But these emergencies don't just happen during the day.

"I think that Londoners are still at risk if there is another incident as they may not get the best possible care that they should expect."

Dr Weaver volunteers with the group BASICS, which offers out doctors, nurses and paramedics to assist at medical emergencies.

She insists that the capital needs to follow in the footsteps of Bristol and Teeside and have its own major incident response team to work alongside the London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance and ensure there are paid doctors on call 24 hours a day to attend the scenes of medical emergencies.

She added: "You can't expect people who are not being paid to turn up every hour of the day. There needs to be a separate response team and doctors should be paid to be on call so they are free to respond immediately.

"But there are people who just don't want to pay for it and just want to make do with the ambulance service ... there is a risk in that."

But NHS London insists that the capital is prepared for major incidents.

A spokeswoman said the NHS "has tried and tested plans to deal with all major incidents.

"NHS London can call on a wide pool of specialist trauma doctors to respond to major incidents. And plans are in place to make sure there is enough medical cover to call in if extra doctors and nurses are needed.

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