Riverside Medical Centre in St Georges Wharf, Wandsworth Road, Vauxhaull, took just an hour to be evacuated after a helicopter collided with a crane on top of the next door building at 8am yesterday.
And within two hours it was up and running in the Hurley Clinic practice a mile away in Ebenezer House, Kennington Lane, Kennington, which is part of the same Hurley Group partnership. It is expected to be in temporary premises until Monday.
Dr Arvind Madan, a partner at multiple practices for the Hurley Group, arrived on the scene at the Vauxhall practice 20 minutes after the crash.
He said: ‘There were lots of construction workers, emergency services everywhere and the roads were cordoned off.
‘Everyone [the practice staff] was remarkably calm.
‘The staff heard a crash when the helicopter hit the crane. The doctors looked up and then saw an explosion and were confused as to what it was. The emergency services were there rapidly. The service in the practice carried on but then the staff and about 12 patients that were there were evacuated about an hour after the crash.
‘We implemented our disaster recovery plan which staff followed to the letter. The partners sent an email to all the staff last night congratulating them. The team behaved outstandingly. To have a helicopter crash on your doorstep and have the practice up and running within another practice a mile away, within two hours, is pretty good.’
Dr Madan said that staff had been told ‘tentatively’ by emergency services that the Vauxhall practice would re-open on Monday.
The picture taken by Dr Arvind Madan as he arrived at the scene
He said that a lot of patients cancelled their appointments yesterday but that today was ‘business as usual’.
RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada, also a partner at the Hurley Group, tweeted yesterday ‘well done my team @Hurley_Group for their great work’.