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Riots force nurses to work round the clock


Nurses were trapped in Croydon University Hospital overnight as rioters smashed windows and lit fires just metres away.

London Road in front of the hospital was closed as a result of disturbances, including arson attacks, which began early on Monday evening, close to the shift change-over.

The road closure and the riots in surrounding areas near the homes of nurses and other staff members meant many were unable to get home after the day shift and others were unable to get into work. About 15 staff slept over while many more worked a double shift to keep services running.

About 20 inpatients ready for discharge and more who would not normally have been admitted from accident and emergency were also unable to leave, forcing the trust to open extra beds.

However, in common with other areas that saw riots, the disturbances did not lead to a significant increase in A&E attendances.

Richard Parker, director of acute operations at Croydon Health Services Trust, paid tribute to the hard work of staff.

He said: “Some of our staff had some very frightening experiences. A gang came down the London Road and looted the betting shop about 100 metres away. We were on standby for a major incident but the main problem was getting people out because we were in the thick of it.”


Readers' comments (16)

  • Well done to all staff who kept the service running and who covered the shift from other staff who couldn't get to work. You should be praised and receive a merit title from your hospital and eventually receive a reward. I hope the Hospital provided them free meal and facilities to get showered and changed, it's a minimum. You've shown the shiniest bright side of nursing and demonstrated responsibility, commitment and solidarity. So can only say, well done...

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  • it must have been a very frightening experience. very well done for your hard work, dedication to your patients, colleagues and employers, and for surviving it.

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  • I hope each and every one of the marauding scum that caused such devastation in the capital, the midlands and in the north incur the full wrath of our justice system; they should also permanently lose their benefits, their council dwelling and - the few that do work - should lose their jobs. Where appropriate, individuals should be returned to their country of origin. Watching the actions of the mob on TV made me embarrassed to be English, absolutely disgraceful.

    Rather than pussy-footing around, the police should have acted to protect people and their property and there should’ve been a police presence at the hospital in question.

    Well done to the nurses who were working in such appalling conditions, I really do hope your Trust appreciates your hard work - I certainly do.

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  • Well done to all the hospital staff who worked together to keep services running. I would also like to mention staff at Care Homes who also 'went the extra mile' to ensure that their residents were looked after. I have great respect for the staff where I work in Croydon who pulled together and got to work under potentially hazardous conditions and also contacted other staff to ensure they were OK and to offer safe places to stay if needed.
    I do think we should also give praise to the emergency services who kept things running. I have enough stories to keep writing on but just sincere thanks to everybody involved for their hard work

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  • Well done all you public sector workers who have put your safety on the line to protect ours. The pillars of our society facing the dregs. It can be discussed in length, ad infinitim, till the cows come home, at some later date the causes, but for now we need to deal with effects. Zero tolerence to criminality and anarchy on our streets. Where takers give nothing back to society but the finger. As in Star Wars 'The empire strikes back'.

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  • Some real right wing [knee] jerk reactions here! Wait till the cuts really bite and I suspect we may see a great deal more violence. For many this is the only way of making their point heard. I deplore rioting, but don't believe it can be dismissed simply as 'greed'. There are societal factors and we will ignore them at our peril...

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  • I wonder when the all public services are run by the the private sector will we see this sort of commitment to the public safety or will the country be held to ransom by them?

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  • Nigel Jopson

    "I have enough stories to keep writing on."
    it would be good if you could share these stories with us readers.

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  • Anonymous | 12-Aug-2011 4:26 pm

    Lets be clear: the actions of the mobs we’ve witnessed over the last week had nothing whatsoever to do with government cuts, social deprivation or indeed the death of Mark Duggan. What we saw was mindless, opportunistic criminal damage and theft.

    Many of us have had less than ideal upbringings, but we’ve managed to make something of ourselves. Just because Tommy’s father didn’t love him, doesn’t give him the right to go on the rampage smashing private property and stealing from shops.

    In my opinion, those that condone are as guilty as those who committed the acts!

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  • maria gough | 12-Aug-2011 4:38 pm

    In short, no. I work for a now privatised service and believe me I go in, do my job and leave at my finishing time and that is it.

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