Staff at the hospital closest to the Westminster Bridge attack were “shocked and depressed” by the copycat atrocity on London Bridge, a senior medic said today.
Doctors and nurses ran out of St Thomas’ hospital to treat victims run over by a car driven by Khalid Masood in March.
The hospital was back on the front line on Saturday night, receiving nine victims injured on London Bridge and Borough Market – the first brought in by police as the incident began to unfold.
Dr Katherine Henderson, clinical lead for the emergency department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, said: “I think everyone was shocked and deeply depressed that it was happening again.
“The Westminster event was not that long ago. Borough Market is very near. It’s at the heart of our patient population. It’s at the heart of where we go out and socialise. It’s our patch that has been hit now by two events.”
One of the eight people killed was Kirsty Boden, 28, a staff nurse at St Thomas’ sister hospital, Guy’s. She was stabbed to death after rushing to help one of the victims.
Four patients were admitted with serious injuries, two undergoing surgery that night. Doctors, alerted by What’s App message groups, rushed back. Dr Henderson had been at home near the Globe theatre and cycled back to the hospital.
“Patients were incredibly calm and supportive of each other,” she said. “There was one point when I walked through the discharge area. They were all talking to each other and providing a bit of support to each other.”
She said the attack brought back memories of the Soho nail bomb, when two were killed and 30 injured at the Admiral Duncan pub in 1999.
“It’s not to do with the severity of the injuries, but the reason behind it,” she said. “Somebody has randomly decided to injure total strangers. This is not gang warfare. It’s not domestic violence. This is someone who has made a choice who has made a decision to injure people they know nothing about.
“It reminded me of the nail bomb, back in the day – that horrible desire to hurt people. That is why terrorism is so shocking. Just as that nail bomb was so shocking, again we are seeing people who were out having a nice evening. It’s shocking to have to treat people that have been injured like that.”
* An edited version of this article appears in tonight’s Evening Standard (above)