The Bishopsgate Bomb: Bart's plea highlighted

THOSE injured in the Bishopsgate blast would not have received the expert care they were given if Government plans to 'rationalise' health care in London had been in force, doctors and patients said yesterday.

The St Bartholomew's Hospital's Accident and Emergency Unit is threatened with closure after the Tomlinson Report on the future of hospitals in central London. It could be closed in June.

Stpehen Miles, the hospital's medical co-ordinator, said that the blast had made a good case for keeping the unit open. The hospital is close to rail terminals, the Underground and the City and needed the capacity to deal with the unexpected.

'If there was another major emergency with even more injuries, I think there will be great difficulty in coping if the Bart's accident and emergency department was closed,' he said.

The Lord Mayor of London, Sir Francis McWilliams, said: 'We are fortunate that this horror occurred while the accident and emergency department is still open.' No other hospital could be reached so quickly from the City, and he hoped that the Health Department would get the message.