Three ambulances from the West Country have begun their journey to the Polish border after being donated to Ukraine.
The South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) has given the three decommissioned vehicles to help "provide immediate frontline healthcare support to the many people who so desperately need it".
Each ambulance is equipped with a stretcher, scoop stretcher, long board and carry chair.
The ambulances recently set off from the Bristol Ambulance Station to begin their 1,200 mile journey. They were driven to a nearby Government airfield by three paramedics and a SWAFST staff member, where they will then be transported to Poland.
It is hoped that on arrival, they will be used by Ukrainians to 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 three vehicles will help replace Ukrainian ambulances lost to Russian attacks, bolstering the existing fleet’s resilience as the war continues.
The ambulances are available for donation as the NHS requires the replacement of vehicles every five years, meaning some are decommissioned.
All medical equipment and ambulances are checked to ensure they meet the standards required before being sent to Ukraine.
'Lifesaving work in difficult circumstances'
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.
The ambulances set off on the 1,200 mile journey to the Polish-Ukrainian border
"Through our co-ordinated work with DHSC [the Department of Health and Social Care], 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.”