Staff told no work no food

The Centenary Building at Lancaster Royal Infirmary.
The Centenary Building at Lancaster Royal Infirmary.

The article in the Lancaster Guardian on the preparations in Lancaster for nuclear war (Bunkering down for armageddon, February 26)made me remember a briefing I had in 1982.

I was a recently appointed consultant at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, and with all my colleagues was invited to the briefing on the plans for medical care you describe, from the then Director of Public Health in Lancaster, Dr John Dyer.

He went through the plans to keep the RLI open, if it still stood, or else to use casualty clearing centres out in the countryside. But his message was that the hospital or centres would not be staffed by volunteers, as your report said, but by the hospital staff, GPs and nurses of the area, and members of the paramedical professions, who had managed to survive the attack.

A member of the audience asked, what if we would rather stay at home and help our families, who would sorely need us at such a time? “Easy” said the good Dr Dyer, “no work, no food”.

We are most fortunate that such a time never happened.

Dr John Davies

Retired Consultant Anaesthetist