About this event

  • Date and time Wed 25 Sep 2019 from 1:00pm to 5:30pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by RSM Professionals

This meeting is dedicated to all those affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire Tragedy.

This event is taking place in full acknowledgement and respect for the ongoing public enquiry into the root causes of the tragedy. It will focus on the public health aftermath and the lessons that need to be learned.

Chaired by Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow, whose reports on the Grenfell Fire captured the immense impact on the communities of North Kensington, the meeting will highlight the importance of the issue of trust as a factor in post disaster response and recovery and its relevance to the public health of those affected.

The Grenfell Tower Fire Tragedy was the country’s worst post-World War II domestic fire incident. The engrained massive social inequalities in the country’s richest borough have been a recurring theme, together with the lack of trust between the Grenfell communities and the local authority and other statutory agencies.

This question of trust has been a major complicating factor in the process of grieving and recovery following the tragedy. It has also emerged as an important issue in other recent tragedies including the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa and the decline in uptake of vaccines around the world.

In this meeting, specialists who have dealt with different aspects of the Grenfell tragedy, including physical, mental and public health, will explore the issue of trust and its relevance to recovery from their own perspectives. The deliberations will be informed by a series of ‘lived experience’ contributions from those directly affected.

Meeting topics

  • Understand the context in which trust has become such an important issue in recovery following the Grenfell tragedy
  • Identify what can be learned about trust and public health in health emergency preparedness and response
  • Ensure that lived experiences are heard from both the community perspective and the professional/public sector perspective

The full programme will available soon.


Standard pricing available until 24 September 2019.


RSM Fellow RSM Associate RSM Trainee RSM Retired Fellow RSM Student
£54.00 £37.80 £37.80 £37.80 £27.80

Non - Member

Consultant / GP Non Healthcare Professional AHP / Nurse / Midwife Trainee Student
£90.00 £90.00 £63.00 £63.00 £45.00

Key speakers

Jon Snow

Jon Snow

Presenter, Channel 4 News

Speaker's biography

Jon Snow has been the face of Channel 4 News since 1989.

Jon Snow joined ITN in 1976 and became Washington Correspondent in 1984. Since then, he has travelled the world to cover the news – from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the release of Nelson Mandela, to Barack Obama's inauguration and the earthquake in Haiti.

His many awards include the Richard Dimbleby Bafta award for Best Factual Contribution to Television (2005), and Royal Television Society awards for Journalist of the Year (2006) and Presenter of the Year (2009).

Dr Fiona Jane Wilcox

Senior Coroner, Inner West London

Speaker's biography

Dr Fiona Jane Wilcox is HM Senior Coroner for the Coroner Area of Inner West London.

Dr Wilcox was the coroner in the inquests for those who died in the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Professor Brandon Hamber

John Hume and Thomas P.O'Neill Chair in Peace, Ulster University


Speaker's biography

Professor Brandon Hamber is the John Hume & Thomas P. O'Neill Chair based at the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) at Ulster University in Northern Ireland.

He was also a Mellon Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the School of Human and Community Development, and the African Centre for Migration and Society.

He remains a Visiting Professor at the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and is a member of the Transitional Justice Institute in Ulster University.


View the programme

Welcome address

Reverend Dr Mike Long, introduced by Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President of the Royal Society of Medicine

Lived experience

Session 1: Setting the scene

Chaired by Jon Snow, Channel 4 News

This session will set the scene with a description of the Grenfell disaster and its immediate aftermath by those closely affected and by Jon Snow who reported from the scene for Channel 4.

The Bishop of Kensington will describe the immediate impact on the community and there will be a 'lived experience' account from a member(s) of the Grenfell community.

Featuring speakers including:

- Dr Fiona Jane Wilcox, Senior Coroner, Inner West London
- Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington
- Dr Lucy Easthope, Emergency Recovery Lead, Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College

Followed by a panel discussion.


Session 2: The challenge

Chaired by Professor Sir Simon Wessely

This session will describe the parameters of the disaster in terms of its potential impact on the health of those affected.

It will include the formal public health needs assessment carried out at the time, and perspectives of those familiar with the impact of disasters on the wellbeing of those affected, as well as a 'lived experience' account from a member(s) of the Grenfell community.

Featuring speakers including:

- Jason Strelitz, Director of Public Health, London Borough of Newham
- Professor Brandon Hamber, John Hume and Thomas P.O'Neill Chair in Peace, Ulster University
- Mohamed Omer, Board Member, Gardens of Peace Cemetery
- Professor Anna Stec, Professor in Fire Chemistry and Toxicology, University of Central Lancashire

Followed by a panel discussion.

Coffee break

Session 3: Recovery and the public health response

Chaired by John Ashton and Catherine Montague-Ashton

This will describe and reflect on the interventions made to address the potential impact of the disaster on those affected.

There will be a period of shared reflection on the lessons to be learned from large scale disasters with particular reference to the issue of trust and public health.

It will include lived experience account from a member(s) of the Grenfell community.

Featuring speakers including:

- John Ashton, Former Interim Director Public Health / Senior Public Health Adviser, Kensington and Chelsea
- Catherine Montague-Ashton, Former Senior Public Health Adviser, Kensington and Chelsea
- Mona Hayat, Director of North Kensington Recovery, West London CCG
- Houda Al-Sharifi, Interim Director of Public Health, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council

Followed by a panel discussion.

Meeting close


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom