AN NHS worker has reflected on what it was like to work on the frontline on the day of the Manchester Arena bombing - three years on.

Gary Parsons was one of the team working at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital who cared for dozens of victims injured by a bomb planted at an Ariana Grande concert by terrorist, Salman Abedi.

Almost 1,000 people were injured in the attack on May 22 2017, and 22 people were killed, the youngest of which was eight years old.

Mr Parsons, 53, said the ‘magnitude’ of that fateful day ‘will take a very long time to fade’.

“These kids just wanted to see their favourite singer and were then subjected to a pointless, cowardly attack," he said.

Mr Parsons credits his ‘world-class’ department at the hospital for saving the lives of those children and young adults.

He said: “The level of support for one another was incredible.

"I can’t really describe what switch is turned on or what tap is turned off to change the mood of a department in an instant.

"I guess it’s the look on people’s faces when you walk through the door and begin to realise the magnitude of the event which has just happened.

“I remember as my first casualty arrived in the anaesthetic room, seeing their facial injuries, their teeth missing, large entry and exit wounds through their cheeks from flying bolts and burns generated by the ferocity of the explosion and my colleagues looking at me and saying 'what do you need Gaz?’

“Team work is what makes these departments world class."

Mr Parsons said he was 'extremely proud of my performance and that of my friends and colleagues in that hospital'.

“That incident for us as a team at the Manchester Children’s Hospital lasted for weeks," he said.

"But never at any point were we scared and never were we at risk from anything other than fatigue, working incredibly long shifts, driven by the want for those children to have some kind of normal quality of life again.

"It’s unthinkable that you would ever in your career use all the skills you were taught, and all the skills you have developed and attained over 20 years to treat victims of a bomb blast without being in the military.

"To see weeks later, the first seriously injured victims of that blast returning home as a result of weeks and months of repeated surgery is my best memory."

Mr Parsons now works as a senior operating department practitioner in the operating theatre and critical care unit at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust. He is also station officer at Flookburgh-based Bay Search and Rescue.