On 3 June 2017, less than two weeks after the horrific terror attack in Manchester, another savage attack took place in the Southwark district of London when a van mounted the pavement of London Bridge and was driven into pedestrians. The three occupants ran to the nearby Borough Market area where they stabbed people. Tragically, eight people were killed (a Spaniard, a Briton, two Australians, a Canadian and three French citizens.) and forty-eight injured including four unarmed police officers who attempted to stop the assailants. It marked the third terror attack in Britain in just over two months.
Kate met with CEO Nick Moberly.
Speaking about the visit a royal aide told The Telegraph "Although the story has moved on publicly this is a chance to thank the staff and reassure those still in hospital, many of whom have families with them, that people very much care."
More from the article:
'The Duchess arrived at the south east London hospital at 1.50pm, for a visit that was not publicised in advance to enable staff to continue to treat those affected without disruption.
In total 14 victims were taken to King’s, one of whom was ‘walking wounded’ and able to leave quickly after being seen by emergency staff. The remaining 13 required treatment for stab wounds of varying severity. Seven were in a critical condition and are still receiving round-the-clock treatment. She asked about the roles of staff and praised their efforts, saying: "Well done."
Kate met the incredible doctors, nurses and support staff who described their experiences.
Dr Kate McLeod, the hospital's major trauma consultant on the night recalled how events unfolded in the hospital "When we realised that this was going to be a much wider incident we called in a lot of colleagues. We got some messages out through WhatsApp. When news of the incident began breaking on television I went down to rescuss and the first patients were just being brought in. That’s how quickly everything happened. We were treating patients arriving with the police van before we had even been alerted by the London Ambulance Service. After that they came really quickly. ‘I am so proud of my team, they were excellent. We ran multiple trauma teams because so many people came in to help. We had patients who went to theatre that night and lots of patents admitted to the trauma ward."
Mail Online royal correspondent Rebecca English posted a video of Kate talking to staff, she asked them if they receive emotional support.
Video: The Duchess of Cambridge talks to medical staff who worked on the night of the #LondonBridgeAttack at King's Hospital pic.twitter.com/CUDEL9Ea1s— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) June 12, 2017
Kate asked staff how they coped with the incident. More from the Mail Online "Speaking about the night, head of nursing Lynne Watkins-Hulme told her: 'What was really noticeable on Saturday night was the amount of female patients that were involved. That was quite traumatic for the staff. We are not used to so many females being injured. She added: 'We are used to seeing people who are stabbed. But to have six women who were stabbed, multiple times - it was just the amount of people - that was upsetting."
A key component of today's visit was an emphasis on mental health and emotional support.
Kate talked with Dr Tunnicliff and other experts who explained how important the psychological support offered to staff & patients is.
Rebecca English reports:
'Before she left the Duchess chatted with clinicians about the psychological support which has been made available to staff and patients following the attacks. The issue of mental health is an important part of William, Kate and Harry’s public work. ‘Can and should you talk to patients who have gone through something like this?’ she asked. ‘There they are in hospital one day and then find themselves back at home. Is it best to guide them?
The Duchess also asked whether PTSD is common among patients who have gone through such a traumatic experience. She was told that everyone was offered help and support both while in hospital and in the weeks and months ahead. ‘It’s hard to know who will get PTSD and who won’t,’ one staff member said. ‘The important thing is to help themselves and their families recognise the signs and know where to get help.'
Dr Tunnicliff told the Duchess: ‘We are incredibly proud of what everyone achieved in such a short space of time. Staff are very resilient. Kate replied: ‘Yes, I know this is only a small representation of everyone involved.' He added "I think the Duchess was really affected by the dedication of the staff and how resilient they are. They are very proud to work for King's and the NHS."
Kate spent time at the bedsides of those still receiving treatment. That portion of the visit remained private out of respect to the survivors.
Kensington Palace posted this departure video with the caption "The Duchess says goodbye to the fantastic team at King's College NHS and thanks them for all their care & support for victims of the attack."
The Duchess says goodbye to the fantastic team @KingsCollegeNHS and thanks them for all their care & support for victims of the attack. pic.twitter.com/hH9qKum1p9— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) June 12, 2017
A wave to the crowd as she leaves.
The Mail posted this graphic with photos and names of the eight people who lost their lives. It's utterly devastating to see such a senseless loss of life. Whilst the attack took place in London, the pain is certainly not limited to Britain with seven of the eight victims from other countries. Below, Xavier, Sebastian, Ignacio, Sara, Christine, James, Alexandre and Kirsty. I found looking at each photo quite emotional - each representing a life stolen and unimaginable heartbreak for their loves ones. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those affected in all the terror attacks.
Despite the sorrow and uncertainty, London Bridge is not falling down. Britain is standing tall. Throughout this difficult time enormous courage, strength and unity has been shown. From the bravery of first responders and unarmed police to Ariana Grande's uplifting concert in Manchester, it has been so heartening to see the level of togetherness and kindness displayed. I feel it is incumbent upon the royal family to show as much support as they can. Reading quotes from William's visit to Manchester showed just how much it meant to those he met. One British Transport Police Officer said "It shows that people do care. We have had members of the public showing us that, but for it to go all the way to royalty is appreciated.". Kate's visit today was also greatly appreciated, Malcolm Tunnicliff, clinical director of the emergency department, said: "It's really nice when someone like the Duchess of Cambridge comes in and sees what we do first hand and says thanks. It gives the patients a lift, it gives the staff a lift that they are being recognised. All staff in the NHS want these days is to be recognised. They get knocked for so much and actually for someone like that to come and recognise what they do is a massive lift." I think the quotes perfectly sum up the importance and significance of a visible royal family following such a trying time.
Appropriately, Kate chose her blue sparkle tweed Rebecca Taylor suit for the day - a look she has worn on numerous occasions - ensuring her sartorial choices were not a focus of attention.
The suit is from the designers Pre Fall 2012/2013 Collection and has become a staple for everything from royal tours to video messages. Both pieces are crafted in heavily textured melange weft. The jacket features frayed trim and sequin floral embellishment at the neck.
Kate wore her Manolo Blahnik Calogera court shoes (with thanks to Kate Middleton Style).
Kate debuted the pair at Heathrow on the way to Canada in July 2011 for her first royal tour, they haven't been publicly worn since.
Kate wearing the pair in 2011.
Kate accessorised with her sapphire and diamond earrings.
You can view a video from the visit on YouTube.
We'll see Kate on Friday for an engagement with the 1851 Trust.
We'll see Kate on Friday for an engagement with the 1851 Trust.