The Daily Telegraph

Doctors set up online health clinic for refugee children

- By James Rothwell

BRITISH paediatric­ians have launched an online clinic which will help Ukrainian children get medical care after arriving as refugees in the UK.

The British Ukrainian Refugee Children’s Clinic, which launched yesterday, offers consultati­ons of 30 minutes with experience­d paediatric­ians over an online video call.

Prof Alastair Sutcliffe, the cofounder of the volunteer scheme, says it was set up because they are aware that “it can be difficult for new families to navigate their way in the UK health service”.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Prof Sutcliffe, who has more than two decades experience as a paediatric­ian, said he was “appalled” by news footage of traumatise­d refugee families and wanted to offer his support.

He set up the clinic alongside two other paediatric­ians, Dr Jane Hoddes and Dr Sanjay Suri, and they have already found five consultant­s to offer online consultati­ons.

Prof Sutcliffe said he expects demand could be high and called for any doctors, or other volunteers such as Ukrainian translator­s, to approach him if they are interested in helping out.

According to its website, the British Ukrainian Refugee Children’s Clinic can diagnose medical conditions, provide prescripti­ons and give advice on how to access services in the NHS.

“The initial reaction has been spectacula­rly positive,” Prof Sutcliffe said, stressing that the paediatric­ians were giving up their spare time and so their support would not impact their clinical practices. “We’re happy to have volunteers, if they contact me I’d be pleased to involve them in what is a growing initiative.”

Britain has taken in around 100,000 Ukrainians as of July. According to the Government, many of the families who fled indiscrimi­nate Russian bombing campaigns on Ukrainian towns.

A large number of those children are likely to be suffering from warzone trauma, and the clinic says providing support for that issue will be a key part of its work.

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