NHS staff will treat civilians injured in Gaza

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 11 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5107
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

A team of NHS doctors and nurses is being sent to Gaza to treat some of the people injured in the continual bombing by Israel in recent weeks, NHS England has announced. The team also plans to send children who have been most severely injured during the crisis to the United Kingdom for specialist treatment.

The 14 person team that the NHS is initially sending will include surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, and paramedics from the specialties of emergency medicine, orthopaedic trauma, and plastic surgery. They will be based with Medical Aid for Palestinians at the Al Mokassed hospital in East Jerusalem until access to Gaza is possible. The team will coordinate with local health authorities, charities, the United Nations, and Red Crescent, which are already operating in the area to assist with the humanitarian effort.

Bruce Keogh, medical director for NHS England, said that the team would treat hundreds of injured people on the ground and that the most severely injured children would be brought to the UK to be treated at one of 16 trauma centres in England. These would include patients requiring complex reconstruction surgery, burns treatment, and other very intensive procedures.

Keogh said, “I would like to thank those who are going to the region to help, but I would also like to extend my gratitude to all of the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who have cancelled leave and changed their holiday plans to allow their colleagues to do this most important, life saving work.”

Tony Redmond of UK-Med, a charity that helps provide UK health professional volunteers to countries affected by conflict and catastrophe, said, “Any doctors or nurses wanting to volunteer in the coming week should register at But it is important to remember that we can’t share expertise and save lives abroad without those doctors and nurses who put their own plans on hold to volunteer to cover for colleagues out in the field.”


Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5107

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