South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is sending enough vital medical equipment to maintain a Ukrainian field hospital for up to two weeks – potentially helping to save hundreds, even thousands, of military and civilian lives in the country.
A team of staff have volunteered their free time over recent weeks to co-ordinate a collection of decommissioned supplies and equipment from across bases in Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey and Sussex.
The equipment includes traction splints, neck collars, back boards, tourniquets, stretchers, blankets, blast and field dressings, decompression needles, chest seals, bandages, haemostatic agents to stop bleeding, extrication devices (used to remove victims of traffic collisions) and cannulas for types of intravenous access.
The supplies will fill one full lorry and will be going directly to field hospitals to enable some of the most severely injured soldiers and civilians to be kept alive for up to 24 hours while they await emergency surgery in hospital.
As of 31 March, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had recorded 3,167 civilian casualties since the launch of Russian invasion on 24 February – 1,232 killed and 1,935 injured – with the actual figures likely to be considerably higher.
Kate Ellis (pictured), a Paramedic Team Leader in Oxfordshire who has been helping to coordinate the SCAS response, said: “The response we have seen throughout the organisation has been incredible from the very start and we have now ramped it up further with the donation of medical supplies and equipment which we know are so desperately needed in the conflict zones.
“This will help to ensure people can receive care for up to 24 hours while they await emergency surgery in hospital, meaning there is the potential for this work to help save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.
“We estimate our volume of supplies will be able to supply one field hospital for up to two weeks and some of the equipment – such as the long boards and extrication devices – is of course reusable.”
In addition, another two lorries are set to be loaded with additional donations from staff, members of the public, community groups and businesses from across the south and forms part of a large-scale donation effort coordinated from Didcot, Oxfordshire.
This has already seen seven heavy goods vehicles packed with clothing, food and drinks, blankets, toiletries, baby products, first aid equipment and medicines reach Ukraine, with the next three loads set to leave Boundary Park sports facility in Didcot after a final collection today (Friday, 1 April) and tomorrow (Saturday, 2 April).
Along with the medical supplies, the team has been inundated with first aid supplies (bandages, plasters, dressings), over-the-counter medicines, food, refreshments, camping equipment, baby and child clothing and baby items including nappies, wipes, formula and bottles.
Will Hancock, Chief Executive of SCAS, said: “We are all extremely proud of this work to support those most in need. The resolve everyone has shown to not only keep delivering in the day job after such a tough time of late but also drive forward with this outstanding voluntary programme is truly amazing.”
The lorries will be driven by Ukrainian nationals who will leave Didcot tomorrow evening for their final destination of a depot in Lviv in Western Ukraine where they will be unloaded and the supplies taken further into the country by humanitarian groups.
Members of the public interested in supporting are welcome to visit Boundary Park (OX11 7AR) today or tomorrow between 9am and 9pm to help and/or drop off further donations from the requested list. There will be activities including face painting and bouncy castles to keep children entertained, along with food and refreshments.
Issued on 01 April 2022
Further information and previous press releases