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July 7 survivor praises "incredible" care at St Thomas'

A director of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust this week received her MBE from the Queen in recognition of her role leading the hospitals' response to last year's London bombings.

Dallas Ariotti
Dallas Ariotti

Dallas Ariotti, director of transformation at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, was nominated for the award in the New Year's Honours for her role in leading the Trust's response to the London bombings on July 7 last year.

Dallas said: "It has been an honour to receive this award and to have been recognised so publicly. I want to thank colleagues for their enormous contribution which made our response on July 7 so effective.

"We continually plan for emergencies, so that when they happen we are best prepared to deal with them. On July 7 everyone pulled together, from doctors and nurses to porters and cleaners. It was truly a team effort, and one which made me extremely proud to work at Guy's and St Thomas'."

On the day, Dallas was responsible for instigating the trust's major incident response and setting up and leading the control centre which co-ordinated the work of teams across the trust, including A&E, intensive care, theatres, catering and portering as well as many other departments.

Gill Hicks was seriously injured in the July 7 bombings, losing both her legs, and was treated at St Thomas'. She said: "We owe so much to everyone at St Thomas'. The doctors, nurses and physiotherapists made it possible for me to walk again, but so many others were incredible too. Dallas' award is well deserved and is a real tribute to all the staff at the hospital who helped me."

Gill's Husband Joe Kerr, who she married on 10 December last year, added: "All the staff went beyond dedication. No-one we met just 'did their job' as they claimed – they all did a thousand times more than their job. Gill was determined not to let her injuries delay our wedding, and the staff at St Thomas' helped make this possible."

In December, Dallas represented the Trust at a recognition ceremony held by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, for emergency services staff involved in the work which followed the July 7 attacks. Along with Noreen Ging, Sister in Intensive Care, Dallas accepted a plaque on behalf of all staff at a special ceremony held at London's City Hall.

SE1's two hospitals treated 25 casualties from the bombings, all of them with serious injuries, and was prepared to treat many more patients had it been necessary.

Dallas joined Guy's and St Thomas' in January 2002. She has worked in healthcare for 40 years.

• Also at Buckingham Palace this week was Madeline Held of London South Bank University, who collected an OBE.

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