North Kensington Recovery
Following the fire the NHS was on the ground from day one, providing immediate medical help and assistance, listening to people telling us about their experiences, and finding out what they need most from their NHS. There was a multiagency approach with Central, North and West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) providing emotional and psychological support, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust (CLCH) District Nurses and Health and Social Care Assistants from My Care My Way and London Central and West Unscheduled Care Collaborative (LCW) who run the NHS 111 and GP out of hours service to West London Clinical Commissioning Group providing ongoing support and leadership.
About the residents
The impact on the residents of the tower and the wider community has been significant. 72 people died, many children. People in the tower and some of the buildings close by have been living in temporary accommodation – hotels – ever since and are waiting to be rehoused or reluctant to do so. The relatives and friends of those who died, the thousands who witnessed the fire and those from the statutory and voluntary sector who have responded – many are traumatised and suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Hundreds of people are in treatment, but many are simply reluctant or not ready. And the community as a whole is also traumatised. They do not speak with one voice – there are many voices to be heard and we can understand why.
The answer to that in some part lies with learning from other tragedies such as the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster in Quebec in 2013 and the Aberfan disaster in 1966. We knew we would have to gather experts together quickly while at the same time managing the immediate response on the ground.
We formed a North Kensington Response team that consists of experts in primary care and mental health, communications and engagement and is coordinated by a project management specialist. To aid in our understanding of disaster response we have also enlisted the help of international specialists who are experts in resilience planning and have first-hand insight from events like Hurricane Katrina. The response is multi-agency and we are working closely with colleagues from Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to offer a joined-up service.
On a strategic level, some very important pieces of work have been done by the group. Namely, the establishment of a multi-agency forum and the piloting of a new model of care that launched in six practices in North Kensington in March 2018.
Made up of community and voluntary sector partners, the multi-agency forum will allow us to co-design services and act as a local sounding board. It will also be a place to receive and discuss feedback from local people and decide how it influences the approach we are taking. We will also use it to further develop our communication and engagement approach.
The new model of care is based on My Care My Way, an integrated service that is currently on offer to over 65s in the borough. It will bring together all of the professionals involved in a patient’s care to co-design a pathway and allow the patient to play an active part in the design of their plan.
You can find out more about the NHS response at www.grenfell.nhs.uk