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CNO thanks emergency staff for 'tireless efforts' after London terror attacks

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Nurses and other healthcare professionals responding to Saturday’s London terror attack have been thanked by the chief nursing officer for England for their “tireless efforts and commitment” over the weekend.

In a joint statement issued on Sunday, Professor Jane Cummings and NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh noted that health service staff had volunteered to work extra shifts to help in the emergency response to the incident on Saturday night, in which seven people were killed and 48 injured.

“The NHS and other emergency services reacted swiftly and heroically”

Joint CNO and medical director statement

Hospitals were continuing to treat 21 people in a critical condition yesterday, out of 36 admitted for care, following events in which a white van was crashed into pedestrians in the London Bridge area and three men from the vehicle then stabbed people.

Two nurses were among those who provided immediate assistance after a woman was stabbed by one of the attackers in El Pastor restaurant in Borough Market.

According to a BBC report, London critical care nurse Carlos Pinto and his friend, also a nurse, who were in the restaurant at the time, used ice and cloths to stop her bleeding.

Mr Pinto’s partner, Giovanni Sagristani, told the BBC it took two hours before paramedics arrived and that it was “lucky” the two nurses were present.

“They kept her conscious. It was very lucky they were there,” he said.

“We would like to put on record our gratitude and thanks to everyone for their tireless efforts and commitment”

Joint CNO and medical director statement

Meanwhile, a student nurse who was also in the area at the time, has made an appeal for a taxi driver to get in touch, saying that he saved her life.

Rhiannon Owen was using a cash point when the taxi driver shouted at her to run, she told the BBC. “I saw the knife and I didn’t turn around again. I just started running as fast as I could,” she said.

The 19-year-old, from Cheshire, said she saw the attacker behind her and ran into a nearby pub where she hid in a stock room with around 30 other people.

The CNO and Sir Bruce referred to the “appalling” events in London, but said that in this and other recent attacks in Manchester and at Westminster Bridge, the country had “seen both the worst and the best of humanity”.

“Last night, once again, the NHS and other emergency services reacted swiftly and heroically, going towards the danger to help the injured,” they said in the statement issued by NHS England.

Jane Cummings

Jane Cummings

Jane Cummings

“Tried and tested emergency plans were activated, with London Ambulance Service on the scene within six minutes,” they said. “NHS staff across the capital have also volunteered to work extra shifts and through the night to help the emergency response.

“As the medical director and chief nurse of the NHS in England, we would like to put on record our gratitude and thanks to everyone for their tireless efforts and commitment in what has been a very difficult period,” they stated.

The chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, also paid tribute to the “professionalism and bravery” of staff, adding that wider healthcare services in London had been affected only minimally so far, but would be monitored.

“We continue to keep the situation under close review as events unfold, and ask people in the capital to continue to use NHS services wisely,” he said in a statement made yesterday.

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