British Ukrainian Refugee Children’s Clinic
1994. Alastair Sutcliffe
Professor Alastair Sutcliffe, a paediatrician at University College London, set up the ‘British Ukrainian Refugee Children's Clinic’, in response to the Russian invasion, providing free online consultations for Ukrainian families and advice on accessing NHS services.
Professor Sutcliffe was moved by seeing the stories of families affected by the war and realising he could use his position to help, he started to plan and identify resources. The clinic is run by a team of volunteers, who work with consultants across the UK to provide 30-minute consultation slots for families affected by the Ukrainian refugee crisis. By discussing any pre-existing or newly found medical issues that are affecting families, they are able to provide them with the necessary advice on which healthcare and medical access the children require, and support families in connecting them with the relevant NHS and specialist support.
So far, the clinic has supported an estimated 50 children, and Professor Sutcliffe aims to establish a permanent clinic to help refugees with accessing medical care from local doctors.
In a personal letter to Professor Sutcliffe, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“As we mark one year since Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine, I want to thank you for all that you have done to support Ukrainian families with your British Ukrainian Refugee Children’s Clinic.
“You have brought together a volunteer army of doctors from across our country to provide free online consultations and support families newly settling in the UK.
“Your fantastic initiative epitomises the remarkable kindness, empathy and solidarity with which we have opened our hearts and our homes to the Ukrainian people. It shows the very best of our country.
“So I am delighted to recognise your service to others by naming you as the UK’s 1994th Point of Light.
“On behalf of the whole country, thank you.”
Professor Sutcliffe said:
“I am delighted on behalf of the ‘British Ukrainian Refugee Children’s Clinic’ to be given this recognition. We have a tradition of making people welcome in the UK. Some of these children are coming over with just the clothes on their back. It has been both interesting and heart breaking for us who see the families to hear of their needs. However we are making a difference one family at a time.”
Professor Sutcliffe is the 1994th person to receive the Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a positive change within their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
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