Of the 48 injured, 14 were taken to King’s, with one able to leave soon after. The other 13 needed treatment for stab wounds — seven of whom were in a critical condition and are still receiving constant treatment. (Eight people died in the attack, while the three assailants, who drove through pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed restaurant and pub-goers in nearby Borough Market, were shot at the scene by police.)
Kate was met by Nick Moberly, the hospital’s chief executive, and professor Julia Wendon. She was also introduced to two of the hospital’s team leaders trained to deal with major incidents, Jane Bond of Gold Command and Silver Command’s Mark Madams. “I suppose at the time you didn’t know how big or what the extent of the incident was,” she told hospital staffers. “You just got your heads down and got on with it. The response was amazing. I presume you are trained to cope with this but hope this kind of incident never happens.What you do is remarkable.”
Malcolm Tunnicliff, clinical director of the emergency department, told reporters, “I think the Duchess was really affected by the dedication of the staff and how resilient they are. They are very proud to work for King’s and the National Health Service.”
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“We prepare for incidents like this 24 hours a day, but it’s really nice when someone like the Duchess of Cambridge comes in and sees what we do first hand and says thanks,” said Tunnicliff. “It gives the patients a lift, and it gives the staff a lift that they are being recognized. All staff in the [publicly-funded] NHS want these days is to be recognized. They get knocked for so much, and actually for someone like that to come and recognize what they do is a massive lift.”
He added, “We are one of the busiest hospitals in western Europe in terms of dealing with stabbing incidents. But it was the volume in such a short space of time. We went through a week’s worth of [medical supplies] in just an hour and a half.”
“And while we were are quite used to dealing with young men that stab each other, this time there were quite a lot of ladies who had suffered serious, multiple injuries. That was quite shocking to many. The Duchess was surprised to hear that.”
Kate’s solo visit follows that of her husband, Prince William, who spent a day in Manchester on June 2 paying tribute to those who had worked to help in the immediate aftermath of the terror bombing at the Ariana Grande concert on May 22. He also privately met some of the young victims in hospital. Twenty-two people, including many children and teenagers, died in that attack.
During her visit, Kate met with senior hospital officials about the psychological help available to staff and patients following the attacks.
Kate, William and Prince Harry have been focusing on mental wellbeing as their Heads Together campaign grows, and William spent much of his day in Manchester asking if police officers and other emergency staff were getting the support they needed.
Last week, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, paid a visit to the police and one of the hospitals treating those who suffered in the attack. Camilla praised the first responders working to help the wounded as “Britain at its best.”