Urgent care provider hails 'overwhelming' GP response to Grenfell Tower fire

An urgent care organisation at the heart of the response to the Grenfell Tower fire has hailed 'overwhelming' support from local GPs and NHS staff, as fears grew that more than 100 people may have died.

Grenfell Tower fire: death toll rising (Photo: ©Natalie Oxford / @Natalie_Oxford)
Grenfell Tower fire: death toll rising (Photo: ©Natalie Oxford / @Natalie_Oxford)

The London Central and West Unscheduled Care Collaborative (LCW) said its own teams of GPs and those from practices in the west London area around Grenfell Tower had shown 'amazing dedication' in their response to the disaster.

An LCW spokeswoman told GPonline that numbers of GPs working with the urgent care organisation to respond to the crisis had fluctuated according to need and numbers of respite centres that had opened. But she said LCW GPs and those from practices locally had shown 'amazing dedication'.

She added: 'The response from LCW GPs and GPs from local practices has been overwhelming as has the response from community nursing teams. We have also been inundated with offers of help from our own NHS 111 teams who have offered to work overtime and help in any way they can.

Emergency response

'The amazing supportive culture at LCW has been palpable over the last 36 hours. There is a clear focus on the ground between the health and social care organisations to ensure a co-ordinated support in terms of welfare across the board.'

Meanwhile, a leading medical defence organisation confirmed that doctors it insured who were working on the response to Grenfell would not need additional indemnity cover.

'We have seen a report that LMCs throughout London are encouraging GPs to contact their medical defence organisation to check they have indemnity,' said an MDU spokeswoman. 'We are pleased to reassure MDU members that our indemnity will extend to the extra work our members are carrying out in connection with the fire. There will be no extra cost for this.'

Londonwide LMCs issued a statement saying that many GPs were stepping forward to volunteer, and has published details of how doctors can get involved in the relief effort.

Public inquiry

Prime minister Theresa May has called for a public inquiry into the fire as fears grew that the death toll could rise into three figures. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that 'the truth has got to come out'.

Tottenham MP David Lammy - who has friends that live in the Tower and are now missing - has called for arrests to be made. He condemned as an 'outrage' the fact that a borough among the richest in the nation had left local residents living in 'unacceptable conditions'.

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