The Ministry of Health and Care Services commissioned the Directorate of Health to conduct a review of the health sector’s response to the terrorist attacks on 22 July 2011. The main question in the remit from the Ministry was to elucidate “how well the health service and the health authorities, given the resources at their disposal, managed to safeguard public life and health”.
The present report is the Directorate of Health’s own review of the health sector’s response and learning outcomes. The government appointed 22 July Commission is conducting a more investigative inquiry, including of the health sector’s response. Our report will be a source document for the Commission.
Our assessment is that the outcome of the health service’s response is generally good, and that the health workers and volunteers who assisted deserve much gratitude. Many did far more than could have been expected of them. Equally, the review has revealed a number of lessons to be learned and improvement areas, including in planning, communication and crisis PR, technical solutions, inter-agency cooperation routines and organisation, and follow-up over time. In the time ahead, it is important that the substantiated expert advice is followed up by practical action at many different levels.