Ukraine-Russia: Scotland prepared to treat Ukrainian children with cancer

Scotland is preparing to treat Ukrainian children with cancer, health secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

It comes as 21 child cancer patients and their families arrived in the UK from Poland on Sunday evening.

The children will be assessed to understand their specific health needs before being sent on to hospitals around the UK.

The Scottish Government has worked closely with health boards and paediatricians to prepare for the possible transfer of any children to Scotland, the health secretary said.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is given a tour by Gordon Beattie, Director of National Procurement for NHS National Services Scotland, during a visit to the Titan logistics facility as medical supplies are prepared to be sent to Ukraine on March 2, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

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A government spokesperson later confirmed it had found capacity to treat some Ukrainian children.

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Mr Yousaf said: “We are committed to providing assistance to Ukraine to support the humanitarian effort, including providing medical treatment where urgently needed.

“We are working closely with health boards and clinical experts with input from the Managed Service Network for Children and Young People with Cancer to identify existing capacity and to prepare to treat paediatric cancer patients should they be brought here.”

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Announcing the arrival of 21 child cancer patients, UK health secretary Sajid Javid said: “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.”

He added: "I know that the incredible staff in the NHS will ensure they get the best possible care."

Nine medics from Southampton Children's Hospital flew to Poland to fetch the children.

The hospital said: "The families were so incredibly grateful and the stories they told were horrific. We were just so pleased to do something to help."

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A further shipment of medical supplies is also set to be sent from Scotland to Ukraine this week.

Mr Yousaf said 40 pallets was expected to be flown out, in addition to the 79 already donated at a value of around £1.6 million.

He said: "We have so far sent three consignments of medical supplies to Poland for onward transport to Ukraine, totalling 79 pallets valued at approximately £1.6m.

“The third donation of 35 pallets from Scotland arrived in Ukraine on Tuesday. A fourth consignment of 40 pallets is expected to be flown out next week.”

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