Lady Justice Hallet heard evidence in the London bombings of 7 July 2005, from 11 October 2010 to 3 March 2011. She sat without a jury and delivered verdicts of unlawful killing, with the medical cause of deaths recorded as “injuries caused by an explosion”, in respect of each of the 52 victims; she was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that each victim would have died whatever time the emergency services reached and rescued them.
On 6 May 2011, L J Hallet delivered nine recommendations under Rule 43 of the Coroners Rules 1984. To access a copy of Lady Justice Hallet’s Rule 43 report, please click here. A summary of the recommendations can be found at page 64.
Healthcare professionals working within accident and emergency services may find R8 of particular interest. L J Hallet recommended that the London Ambulance Service (LAS) together with Barts and London NHS Trust (on behalf of London Air Ambulance (LAA)) review existing training in relation to multi casualty triage, in particular with respect to the role of basic medical intervention (see paragraphs 237 – 243).
L J Hallet acknowledged that that there was no evidence at all that any casualty suffered, let alone died, on 7/7, from a lack of basic treatment during the triage process or afterwards. However, the evidence about paramedics believing that they should leave equipment behind did cause her concern. She considered it appropriate to encourage LAS to make it plain in its training that triage does not preclude immediate or basic medical attention or the taking of equipment to those casualties in need of triage. She added that LAS should liaise with the LAA in this regard, to ensure consistency of approach.
L J Hallet was also concerned about the LAA and that London, a host to the Olympics in 2012 and a prime terrorist target should find itself dependant upon corporate funding and charitable donations, and professional volunteers giving up their limited free time in order to provide life saving emergency care. She was concerned that the capability to provide such care was limited.
It was pointed out that if at all possible emergency medical care for London needs to be properly funded. Accordingly, L J Hallet recommended that the DH and the Mayor of London together with other relevant bodies review the emergency medical care of the type provided by LAA and medical response incident teams, in particular in both its capability and funding.