First responders, bravery in chaos
Article in the Guardian from July 21st 2005. In the light of what I wrote in today's Sunday Times, it offers another view of the aftermath and the response. There is no doubt in my mind of the heroism of those who helped us on that day. They have little to fear from an independent enquiry. But there are still learnings to be looked at. The system is not flawless. And it is highly likely that this will happen again, perhaps with even more devastating effect.
'Perversely, one of the greatest dangers of a largely successful response
to a major incident may be the internal voice that says: "We did it." The worst happened, and the system coped, and this leads easily to two seductive conclusions: first, that the system is flawless, and second, that the law of averages will somehow spare it being tested again any time soon. Both, of course, are erroneous. "We had this terrible incident, and we did extremely well," says Dent. "I was very proud of the NHS in London. They stepped up to the challenge. But actually, the risk today is no different than it was that Thursday. We've got to keep rehearsing."
Julie Dent, the head of the south-west London strategic health authority inGuardian feature