A health chief has vowed that the victims of the Stonehaven rail crash and their families will be “supported all the way through the recovery process”.
Dr Lynn Taylor, director of psychology for NHS Grampian, pledged the authority would treat both the mental and physical effects of victims, which she described as “very individual”.
She said: “What I would like to stress is that anyone who was involved in the incident and their family will be followed up through the major trauma centre all the way through their recovery process by our psychologists, medical practitioners or allied health professionals.
“They will make sure that we follow them all the way from the point of the accident right through until they feel recovered and able to move forward from this.”
Three people died when an early morning train from Aberdeen to Glasgow Queen Street derailed and crashed near Stonehaven on Wednesday.
More than 30 emergency services vehicles including police, paramedics, fire service and two air ambulances were on the scene at Carmont.
Six other passengers were taken to hospital, although four have since been released.
Dr Taylor and colleague James Anderson, a psychologist and leader of the north of Scotland Trauma Network, already had procedures in place for mass casualty incidents, and were ready to cope with the needs of those affected by yesterday’s events.
The system is also able to deal with the support needs of first responders.
She said: “We knew that we wanted to provide a psychological and psycho-social response to major events so that we could provide support to anyone involved in the incident or family and friends to recover from this tragic event – that also includes support for our first responders.
“As professionals, first responders are often more resilient than we expect, but the response team from the Scottish Ambulance Service, the fire crew and right through to our medical staff will have the support in place to help get them any support they may need as a consequence of recovery from dealing with the tragic event.”
NHS Grampian has worked closely with its chaplaincy service who set up a welcome centre at Midstocket Parish Church, close to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
It became a point of contact for worried friends and family, who were unable to wait at the hospital for news due to Covid-19 visitor restrictions.
She added: “It’s been a difficult time for people in Grampian at the moment, with Covid-19 and the effects of a second lockdown, but what I’ve learned is that it’s a resilient community.
“We want people to know that anyone who has been directly involved, or have friends and family who are affected by this, that we have the supports in place to give those people any additional help they need to come to terms with what’s happened.”