Analysis

Grenfell: The healthcare response timeline

How NHS and other healthcare professionals responded when the fire began, and in the months afterwards

How NHS and other healthcare professionals responded when the fire began, and in the months afterwards


The tower block fire spread quickly after starting in the early hours of 14 June. Picture: Getty

Wednesday 14 June, 1am

  • Fire begins Fire breaks out in a fourth-floor flat in Grenfell Tower, and spreads quickly. Palliative care nurse Simone Williams, pictured right, who lives nearby, is among the first on the scene helping injured and distressed residents. 
  • Nurse response Mental health nurses and others look for patients who have been taken to nearby hospitals, and local school nurses provide help and support for younger children.
  • Helpline opens A ‘single point of access’ NHS helpline (0800 0234 650) for people affected by the fire opens.

June

  • Door knocking Nursing staff from the emerging outreach team begin knocking on doors on the Lancaster West estate and beyond, offering mental health first aid. They also visit the hotels where survivors are staying.
  • Pop-up clinic opens The charity Doctors of the World launches a pop-up clinic near the tower for undocumented workers and asylum seekers who have been affected by the fire but are worried about seeking NHS care. It is staffed by volunteer GPs and caseworkers.

August


The Notting Hill Carnival provided an opportunity for the outreach team to reach a wider group.

  • Notting Hill Carnival The NHS Grenfell outreach team and others attend and speak to an estimated 700 people about how to access services. They hand out cards with details of the ‘single point of access’ triage call service for mental health services.

September

  • Screening for PTSD begins The outreach team begins visiting residents at high risk of PTSD in their homes to undertake screening. PTSD usually develops within three months of a traumatic event, so the team does not begin screening before this point.

November

  • Programme of activities A programme of well-being ‘retreats’ and resilience-building activities begins with Journey of Hope, a community interest company that aims to use non-medical interventions to prevent suicides.
  • Single point of access call service Logs 322 Grenfell-related contacts for access to mental health services up to the end of November.

December

  • Thursday 14 December The six-month anniversary of the fire. A national memorial service for survivors and bereaved families is held at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are among attendees.

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