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With this week’s harrowing news of the Grenfell Tower fire in West London, there have now been three significant events in London, and of course the attack in Manchester, that have placed huge demands on our emergency service colleagues.

On the one hand we are seeing those in the ambulance, fire and police services, alongside hospital colleagues, responding in the most phenomenal way as indeed I know we would, and we are also seeing an incredible level of public support, both for those caught up in these terrible events, and in terms of respect for the emergency services which is absolutely right.

I have been inspired and humbled by my observation of all those involved who have been doing such a fantastic job saving lives and looking after those who have been affected, either directly or indirectly. Heroes indeed and no doubt part of their strength will have come from being very well prepared.


News like this always makes us reflect; how would we cope if we were in the middle of such an event? Although rare, we should always be prepared for these types of events – this week’s terrible fire is proof enough of what can happen when we least expect it.

At last month’s Team Brief, Tom Smerdon also talked to camera on the importance of familiarising ourselves with our emergency protocols; if you missed that you can watch it again here. Like all other first responders, we train regularly for major incidents and tackling the unexpected; our recent Commex is a good example, helping to make sure our call-out procedure is up to date and effective and everyone understands what is expected of them should they receive a call.


From my perspective I have absolutely no doubt that if we were called upon, as we have been in the past, we would rise to the challenge, do an amazing job and inspire others. When we are busy it can be hard to see how we might cope with such intense activity but my experience both here, and in my previous career, only serves to underline how positively people react in the event of a major event and all pull together - and not just internally but with partners too. It’s that collective spirit that makes the difference.

So please take the time to familiarise yourself with our emergency protocols; talk it through in your teams and make sure you all know what might be expected of you and where to find the latest information. I would also ask everyone to continue to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to security.

In the meantime, have a great weekend and stay safe whatever you are doing.

With best wishes,

Suzanne Rankin
Chief Executive



Each week Suzanne Rankin, our Chief Executive, sends a message to staff about events at the hospitals, special achievements, and plans for the future.

We shall be adding them to this section as well as including them on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

From time to time, we shall ask other members of the Trust Board and clinical team to give their perspective on the week in our hospitals.


About Suzanne

Suzanne was announced as the new Chief Executive in June 2014.

Suzanne began her nursing and management career with the Royal Navy, including deployment during the 1990 Gulf War; a spell as Senior Nursing Officer at NATO Headquarters in Lisbon; and Nursing Officer in charge of the 56-bed Trauma and Orthopaedic Unit at the former Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport, Hampshire.

Past Messages