‘Only half the recommended medical staff’ worked on night of Brixton O2 crush

  • london
  • February 23, 2023
  • Comments Off on ‘Only half the recommended medical staff’ worked on night of Brixton O2 crush
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Only five members of medical staff were working on the night of the Brixton O2 Academy crush in December 2022.

Hundreds of fans tried to force their way past security into a concert by Nigerian singer Asake, which left several people injured and two dead

Concert goer Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, and security guard Gaby Hutchinson, 23, both died in hospital after the crowd crush on December 15, 2022. 

Footage posted on social media show a crowd of several hundred people trying to get into the sold-out gig.

It has now been reported only a team of five – half the recommended number of medical staff – was present on the night of the disaster.

Industry guidelines suggest there should have been medical cover of at least 10 people.

After two insiders from medical provider Collingwood Services Ltd approached the BBC, the firm confirmed this number was correct.

Insiders claimed two of those had been first responders, a generic term which can cover a variety of competency levels.

There were also two third-year student paramedics – working as lower grade emergency medical technicians (EMTs) – in the team. 

But there were no nurses or paramedics present in the team of five. 

Collingwood Services Ltd said it was ‘fully confident’ the team ‘responded speedily, efficiently and with best practice’.

The insiders claimed of the five people working for Collingwood at the venue, none had a paramedic qualification. 

‘[They] had two student paramedics, so they’re basically unqualified,’ one whistleblower told the BBC.  

The firm declined to comment on specific qualifications for each of the five medical staff, but insisted ‘all staff present were qualified to carry out the scope of practice they were contracted to perform’.

‘They have to be supervised by a paramedic, not by anybody of a lower grade. They didn’t have appropriate supervision,’ they added.

To become a qualified paramedic, you need to do a paramedic science degree approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which usually takes three years. 

In a statement, Collingwood Services Ltd said: ‘We remain profoundly shocked and saddened by the events of December 15, 2022 at the Brixton O2 Academy, where our company was engaged to supply medical staffing services.

‘Our deepest condolences are with the families and friends of Rebecca Ikumelo and Gabrielle Hutchison, who tragically later lost their lives as a result of injuries sustained that evening.

‘Our thoughts are with all those in attendance on the night, including the emergency services and medical staff who worked so hard under exceptionally challenging circumstances to help all those injured and affected.

‘We are in full support of the investigation into the causes of the events of December 15 and welcome any outcomes of the ensuing report which would stop similar tragedies happening in the future. We have conducted our own internal investigation and are fully confident that our team responded speedily, efficiently and with best practice.

‘We believe strongly that the swift action and skill of medical staff, emergency services and others who assisted on the night were instrumental in avoiding further serious injuries or loss of life.’

Metro.co.uk has also contacted AMG for comment. The Metropolitan Police declined to comment.

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