The partnership comes together to support Ukraine

David Lawson, Director of Procurement at Guy’s and St Thomas’, tells KHP Deputy Head of Communications Joe Sparks how the partnership mobilised its assets and expertise in unprecedented times.  

Can you tell us how King’s Health Partners came together to support Ukraine? 

Like so many, I have been devastated by the scenes in Ukraine and was looking for ways I could help.  We were approached by colleagues from the Trusts and College with links to Ukraine to ask how we could support and so we arranged to come together as a group at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Supply Chain Hub in Dartford and coordinate our efforts. 

What has that support entailed? 

Ukraine supply hubWe made available the Supply Chain Hub to hold donated clinical supplies. The Supply Chain Hub was established before the pandemic and is a vital asset in storing and transporting necessary equipment to all of our different sites. Volunteers from across KHP have worked between shifts to help prioritise donations [pictured right]. They then worked with colleagues from the Ukraine Medical Association who arranged for the most urgent supplies to be driven direct to hospitals in Ukraine, with further deliveries shipped into Poland for onward delivery.  

More than 200 pallets of clinical supplies have now been delivered including cities in Eastern Ukraine such as Kharkiv on the front line. Those items included personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and theatre gowns, as well as bandages, sutures, dressings, sanitisation materials and other essential items. 

How can staff and students get involved? 

Going forward the focus is now to raise funding to purchase priority clinical supplies which clinical colleagues in Ukraine are in most need. Earlier this month this approach enabled urgently needed specialist VAC negative pressure wound care products to be supplied by Guy’s and St Thomas’ into the main hospital in Vinnytsia.  

Elsewhere, the KHP Life Lines project is supporting a group of London-based Ukrainian professionals who are restoring old ambulances, filling them with medical supplies and driving them to war-torn Ukraine. Life Lines was set up at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to connect families of critically ill patients who were isolated due to visiting restrictions in hospitals. This new initiative has so far delivered eight vehicles to such destinations as Kyiv City Hospital, Mykhailovsky Military Hospital, Boryspil neonatal centre, and large children’s hospital Okhmadit. These ambulances brought critically required tactical medicine (trauma kits), first aid kits, surgical and neonatal equipment (portable oxygen concentrator, incubators), as well as other medical supplies and essentials.  

To donate or read more about the project, please visit the Just Giving page

If staff and students are able to support the fund raising drive every penny that is raised will allow the most urgently needed clinical supplies and equipment to be purchased and shipped direct to clinical teams working on the ground.