Three South West Ambulances are being donated to the Ukraine Government

Thursday 28th April 2022 7:00 am
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The three South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) vehicles donated to Ukraine, with, from left, paramedics Trudy, Kathy and Howard and event manager Des.
The three South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) vehicles donated to Ukraine, with, from left, paramedics Trudy, Kathy and Howard and event manager Des. (Picture: SWAFT )

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THREE decommissioned ambulances have been donated to the Government of Ukraine, by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), as part of the UK’s package of NHS ambulance donations.

SWASFT covers the counties of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the former Avon area (Bristol, Bath, North and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire).

The ambulances recently left Bristol Ambulance Station to start their 1,200-mile journey to Poland’s border with Ukraine. Each ambulance contains a stretcher, scoop stretcher, long board and carry chair.

The ambulances will provide urgent and immediate care to those injured by Russian bombardments.

Will Warrender, Chief Executive of SWASFT, said: “Like so many people around the world, we have watched on with great sadness at the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. 
“Along with other ambulance trusts around the country, we are humbled to be able to provide these ambulances to the Government of Ukraine and its people.

“We hope that this small gesture goes some way to helping provide immediate frontline healthcare support to the many people who so desperately need it.”

The donation will help replace Ukrainian ambulances lost to Russian attacks, bolstering the existing fleet’s resilience as the war continues.

Mr Warrender added: “The thoughts of everybody at SWASFT remain with the Ukrainian people and with our colleagues in the emergency services, who are carrying out lifesaving work in such difficult circumstances. They have our utmost respect.”

Elizabeth O’Mahony, NHS England and NHS Improvement South West Regional Director, said: “The scale of the humanitarian crisis grows by the day and the NHS continues to provide support to Ukraine through aid donations. Through our co-ordinated work with DHSC, the UK has already provided more than 5.29 million items of medical supplies such as wound packs, doses of morphine, and intensive care equipment, and deploying a humanitarian team to the region.

“I would like to thank SWASFT for donating the decommissioned ambulances to help Ukrainians continue to receive lifesaving care during this terrible conflict.”

The ambulances were driven to a nearby Government air field by lead paramedic Kathy, paramedics Howard and Trudy, and event manager Des. From there, they will be transported to Poland’s border with Ukraine.

The NHS’s national ambulance service fleet strategy requires the replacement of ambulance vehicles every five years. After this time, vehicles are decommissioned and either kept back for resilience, given to approved charities or sent to auction.

All vehicles and medical supplies are checked before being sent to ensure they meet the standards required.

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