04 Apr NHS England to provide cancer care to 21 Ukrainian children
The Government has announced that 21 children from Ukraine have been brought over to the UK to receive treatment for cancer from NHS England.
The intervention is designed to be part of the UK’s wider humanitarian response to the conflict in Ukraine, which is being invaded by Russian forces.
After arriving in the country in March 2022, the children will be assessed to understand their specific health needs. The next step is for treatment and ongoing care to be arranged at an appropriate NHS hospital in England.
What could turn out to be a potentially life-saving initiative for these children has only been possible with the support of Polish authorities and medical facilities. Polish hospitals are currently caring for many Ukrainian children in urgent need of medical care after crossing the border, and have called for support from other nations such as the UK.
In response, the UK government and NHS services partnered with the American non-profit organisation St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Working together, an urgent flight was arranged to get the children over to the UK from Poland.
Sajid Javid, the government’s Health and Social Care Secretary said in a recent press release:
“I am proud that the UK is offering lifesaving medical care to these Ukrainian children, who have been forced out of their home country by the Russian invasion while undergoing medical treatment.
“I know that the incredible staff in the NHS will ensure they get the best possible care. I am hugely grateful to our partners and our Polish friends for their support in bringing these children to the UK.”
Amanda Pritchard, the chief executive of NHS England, also commented on the intervention:
“The situation in Ukraine is deeply shocking and saddening, and the NHS will continue to help in any way we can, whether that is by working with government to provide medical supplies directly to Ukraine, or in this instance, by making sure these children with life-threatening cancers get the crucial treatment they need.
“It is fantastic that colleagues at paediatric hospitals around the country have gone above and beyond to help these children during their greatest hour of need and I would like to thank the NHS staff, volunteers, charities and other partners involved who have come together to make this happen at breakneck speed.”
More medical supplies shipped from the UK to Ukraine
The UK is also supporting Ukraine with medical supplies as part of its humanitarian response. The government has reported that it has sent over 650,000 medical items so far, including intensive care equipment, medicines and wound care packs.
NHS-staffed emergency medical teams have also been provided, along with logistical support to get medical supplies into Ukraine and to the people who need them most. UK teams are on the ground in Ukraine and at the border to assess needs and provide support.
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