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Jenny Buchanan joins Met Police warning to speeding drivers

Garden designer Helen Birch was hit by a car in north London right before lockdown. Her lawyers believe the driver was not paying due care and attention and therefore failed to see Helen, who was crossing the road near her home. The front wheel of the car ran over Helen's foot, causing an agonising open ankle fracture, which is potentially life-changing. The police are currently investigating the accident.

After spending five days in hospital, Helen was trapped at home for five weeks, unable to weight bear on her leg. Her rehab is completely stalled because of the virus.

"Understandably, NHS physios have been deployed to helping patients in the ICU, as have some consultants and other medical staff. Normally, with this type of injury, you'd be seen every two weeks in hospital, at least at first. Obviously non-urgent appointments have all been cancelled and I had to wait five weeks before staff were free to see me. Now it will be another three months before I can see a specialist, and before any physio is available.

"This would normally be a very busy time for me work-wise and because I work outdoors, I would have been able to work safely and within social distancing rules. I've had to turn down work. Doubly frustrating is that because of my injury, I can't even use the time to do the things I don't usually have time for, all because of someone driving dangerously on near-empty roads."

Partner Jenny Buchanan, an expert in road traffic accidents, particularly catastrophic cycling cases, is organising a private rehabilitation package for Helen to alleviate NHS resources and to help Helen get the help she needs at this time.

Jenny also said it was absolutely 'ridiculous' that drivers were putting themselves at risk and other people on the roads at this time.

"It's completely senseless that anyone would do anything to further pressurise our overstretched health and emergency services so needlessly. A lot of the people out on the roads are health care workers cycling, walking and running to work. To endanger them, and anyone else, by going out on the roads and driving like you're on some kind of race track is beyond words.

"Perhaps if they knew the type of injuries we deal with following road traffic accidents – people having to have a leg amputated or left seriously brain-injured – they'd think twice about behaving like the worst type of idiot."

Anne Weaver, head of trauma at the Royal London and consultant for the London Air Ambulance, urged drivers and riders to abide by speed limits to look very carefully for pedestrians and cyclists.

"In the weeks since lockdown, I have personally treated several patients who were cycling and have been seriously injured or killed because another road user has not seen them or has driven recklessly on roads that are quieter and more open than usual.

"Until you've actually been into the hospitals and particularly the Critical Care units, you can't imagine the pressure hospital staff are under trying to save people with coronavirus.

"Our NHS teams are working tirelessly to help anyone who needs us, but if we can prevent additional injuries and fatalities, it will save further heartbreak at this difficult time."

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