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View from the chamber: How our NHS trust is helping survivors of Grenfell Tower

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 December 2018

Archant

I was recently in North Kensington, just over Brent's boundary, with the Grenfell Health & Wellbeing Service; I am lead governor at Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust, which runs it, and saw it close up.

It is a very diverse community and hurting – bereaved, traumatised, wanting answers, demanding justice, and reliving it all at the inquiry and in the media.

Each person has different needs. And the NHS is there in new ways: therapists alongside witnesses at the inquiry, supporting them before and after; not so long ago, accompanying more than a hundred back up the tower, to remember loved ones; almost beyond imagination.

The school closest to the site draws on NHS support; the canteen has both frosted windows, for those who do not want to see the tower, and clear ones, for those who need to.

I met trauma specialists who have gone door to door and treated hundreds of people for post-traumatic stress disorder. The numbers are impressive, but more so to see these NHS workers alongside people in need, every step of the way.

I met the deputy director, Ross O’Brien, who told me: “The service is there to respond to anyone affected by the tragedy. We support the survivors, bereaved and local residents, teachers, business people, firefighters and police, religious leaders etc. It’s been a privilege to work so closely to this community.”

The Grenfell Health & Wellbeing Service is a free and confidential NHS service for children and adults affected by the events of the Grenfell Tower Fire. See grenfellwellbeing.com for more.

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