Jonnie Peacock, gold-medal winning sprinter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant, has given his support to a specialist ambulance service for babies and children as it launches 24/7 in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
Paralympian runner and TV star Jonnie Peacock praises new children’s ambulance service
The service, known as PaNDR (Paediatric and Neonatal Decision Support and Retrieval Service), has teams of critical care doctors and nurses on standby to transfer seriously unwell children into intensive care units across the east of England, and home again. It is operated by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), which runs Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.
Jonnie, now 28, was treated at Addenbrooke’s for meningitis when he was five years old. The infection was so serious it resulted in the amputation of his right limb below the knee. But Jonnie went on to win gold in the 100m sprint event at the London and Rio Paralympics and recently won joint bronze in Tokyo.
Jonnie said: “Having a specialist team of doctors and nurses to transport really sick children into hospital quickly is so important. I know from my own experience that the expertise of the medical staff at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) is second to none, so patients will be in excellent hands with the PaNDR team.
“It is reassuring for families across the east of England that PaNDR is being run close to their homes, as getting expert help at the right time is crucial to a child’s recovery. I wish the PaNDR team all the best and know that they will have a positive impact on lots of children at what is a really significant moment in their young lives.”
Sue Broster, PaNDR Lead and CUH Deputy Medical Director, said: “We are so pleased to have Jonnie’s support as the service takes the exciting step forward to operate around the clock in three counties. This is part of the CUH vision for children’s services in our region, to deliver high quality care in the right place, at the right time and as close to home as possible.”
This vision includes the new Cambridge Children’s Hospital, which will be the first hospital in the world to combine mental and physical health, providing care for the whole child and their family.
Following the launch of the 24/7 PaNDR operation across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, the service will be extended to the whole of the east of England from April 2022.
Two new ambulances and specialist equipment was purchased earlier this year, with help from Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT), which raised £216,000 for the service. More than £92,000 of this amount came from Cambridge’s annual Chariots of Fire relay race.
ACT CEO Shelly Thake said: “We are so proud of our supporters who really pulled out all the stops to make the new service a reality. Their generous donations, and sponsorship from the Chariots of Fire relay event to kit out the two ambulances, has contributed to the service running today, helping critically ill children get the care and expertise that their lives depend on.”
Cambridge University Hospitals is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country. As the local hospital for our community we deliver care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.