West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) staff who helped transport a group of Ukrainian children to hospitals to undergo life-saving cancer treatment have been praised for “incredible teamwork”.
WMAS said more than 50 staff had been involved in the operation at Birmingham Airport.
The 21 children and their immediate families arrived in the UK on Sunday on a flight arranged by the British government.
The service said it was “incredibly proud” to have been part of the plan.
WMAS Staff from both the non-emergency patient transport service and the emergency ambulance service transported the patients from Ukraine to a triage centre.
The government has said patients will receive treatment at an appropriate NHS hospital.
Many children were evacuated to Poland, from where the Birmingham-bound flight departed following an appeal by Polish authorities for help in caring for them.
Dr Martin English, a consultant oncologist from Birmingham Children’s Hospital, who travelled on the plane with the children, said they were “as well as can be expected given the traumas that they have undergone”.
He said: “I would hope an interruption [of treatment] of just a few weeks – the time since the start of the war – won’t impact on the long-term care.
“But obviously if that were to continue for a few weeks more, and it was to turn into months, for anyone that wasn’t able to access ongoing treatment, then the consequences could be grave.”
A WMAS spokesperson said:
“We are incredibly proud to have been part of the NHS mission to bring 21 Ukrainian children who needed cancer treatment to the UK.
“Over 50 of our staff were involved in the operation at Birmingham Airport yesterday.”
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