Published: 14/07/2005, Volume II5, No. 115 Page 9

Trusts who received victims of the London bombs will not be penalised if the extra volume of work causes them to miss any government targets, NHS chief executive Sir Nigel Crisp has pledged.

Dozens of operations across London had to be cancelled to free beds and there were concerns this could have an effect on the waiting-time target.

And there was a danger that the extra volume of trauma victims could have had an effect on the fourhour accident and emergency target in some hospitals.

Sir Nigel told HSJ: 'The simple policy line is nobody should be disadvantaged for doing a good job.

I've asked somebody to check with hospitals what the impacts were.

We will be entirely sensible.

'People will have been cancelling operations and there will be some hospitals in London doing that. We just need to understand what the impacts were and make sure that we praise these hospitals and not disadvantage them.' The attacks would have caused the loss of a 'good part of a day's work in a number of London hospitals, ' he said.

'In NHS terms It is relatively small; in local terms It is relatively big. The most important thing is that people were able to free up a huge number of beds at very short notice. You must remember that when it started nobody knew how big it actually was.

'I've seen hospitals right the way through London and elsewhere making efforts to free up beds, so there will be some impact. I feel confident the NHS will be able to manage that and we will play our part in the department.'