Children's hospitals in the North West provide lifesaving cancer care for Ukrainian children

Video report by ITV News correspondent Elaine Willcox

Some of Ukraine's most vulnerable children have been promised the best possible care at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.

Twenty one Ukrainian children were flown to England at the weekend, all needing specialist cancer care.

All the children have received health assessments from NHS staff and have now been triaged to seven hospitals across England, getting the clinical support to meet each patient's specific needs.  

Professor John-Paul Kilday, a Paediatric Oncologist at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital said, "These children and their parents are extremely tired after coming from a war zone, they are extremely anxious but grateful for the help they are receiving, and we are proud to be a part of this".

A team of NHS doctors, nurses and technicians travelled to Poland to provide the children and their families medical support as they flew out of the war-hit region.

Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Credit: PA

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said "These brave children have overcome unimaginable adversity to make it to England after being forced out of their home country by the Russian invasion.

"I thank the doctors, nurses and technicians who travelled to Poland to evacuate them, and the Polish government for their support.

"These children are now in the safest of hands with NHS staff providing world-class cancer treatment, doing everything they can to support them over the coming days and weeks."

Alongside the medical support, North West businesses are continuing to offer their support.

John Westhead, a Blackpool hotelier, has offered to host Ukrainian families at one of their six hotels. He said 'as a socially responsible company it is something that we should be doing.'

Frank Wren showing us around one of three log cabins he's offering to Ukrainian families

The owners of Boothman Park in Pendle have offered families from Ukraine the use of three log cabins, cancelling a number of holiday lets to be able to do this.

Frank Wren says he and his wife have helped families from Syria, Lebanon and Iran in the past and said they need 'wrap around care' because many are traumatised.

More than 120 thousand people have registered their interest in hosting Ukrainian refugees.

A number of charities are concerned about the 'light touch' regulation and fear some of those fleeing Ukraine will be exploited.

Saba Iftikhar has supported asylum seekers who have been supported in the Pendle Area

Saba Iftikhar from Pennine Oaks and Pendle Neighbours has worked with Boothman Park helping to support asylum seekers in the past.

She says 'it's amazing to see this humanity, people opening their doors to help but asks where was this humanity when the Syrian and refugees from Afghanistan needed our help?'

"If you are willing to take the Ukrainian refugees why not the Syrian and Afghani refugees, if the Ukrainian scheme is oversubscribed and people have the spaces, let's take these people out of the hotels and gave them a taste of what life in England is really like."

That's a view echoed by Dan Carden, MP for Liverpool Walton who raised the issue in the House of Commons.

He said, "People who come to Britain to make it their home, no matter where they are from or the colour of their skin, make a hugely positive contribution to our society and economy."

He asked, "How can the government now justify not extending the same welcome and the same rights, including the right to work to all people seeking asylum in Britain."

The Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said in response,

"He is right that we have a strong tradition and we have stepped up to the plate with the Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas Citizens, with 'Operation Pitting', which brought 17 thousand back from Afghanistan and we will go further when there is a crisis as we have seen Ukraine."

"Those coming here, the Ukrainians can live work and access benefits, they can stay for three years with leave to remain and I'm proud and the whole house should be proud not just of the big hearted approach of this government and also the 100 thousand sponsors who have come forward and will open their homes."

As MPs debated the best way to help, people queuing for bread are thought to be the latest to die as Russia's assault on Ukraine continues into its third week.