A team of five mainly Jewish volunteers has raised thousands of pounds to purchase specialist equipment for the NHS during the covid-19 pandemic.
The group, led by the GP Dr Sharon Raymond, has already raised over £24,000 of its £100,000 target and is in the process of setting up a disaster relief foundation to be called Plan Iron Bird.
Since the campaign was launched on Just Giving over a week ago, thousands of items of protective gear have either been purchased or delivered to medical practitioners and centres across London – including Hatzola, the ambulance service catering to mainly Jewish communities.
The team aims to plug the gap for protective gear and testing kits and raise the funds needed to set up mobile covid-19 units and self-monitoring kits.
They are raising funds for one-day coronavirus testing kits and intensive treatment units, as well as hand-held devices for patients to monitor their oxygen saturation levels at home when assessing symptoms.
“I call upon the community to back this plan, so that we can support medics in safely undertaking their role, limit the spread of this virus, and reduce the pressure on stretched NHS urgent and emergency services,” Dr Sharon Raymond told Jewish News on Tuesday.
She said: “My goal is that every person at higher risk of covid-19 and those suffering symptoms but not in hospital, be given an oxygen saturation monitor to assess oxygen levels in their blood.
“This will aid patients in self-monitoring of covid-19 symptoms, and guide remote medical assessments, thereby limiting spread of the virus by ensuring that those well enough to do so can stay at home, and will also reduce unnecessary contacts with urgent and emergency medical services, which are severely strained currently.”
Alex Adams, one of the volunteers involved in the campaign, said on Tuesday that demand is high for protective gear such as visors, gowns and surgical hoods.
“We are delivering personal protective equipment to London covid-19 hubs, hospitals and also to the ambulance service Hatzola, each according to need,” he said.”Demand is so great that it is very difficult to provide everything required but we are doing our very best.”
Shortages of protective equipment around the world have led to shortfalls in the UK, the Press Association reported on Tuesday.
Millions of items, including 218,000 respiratory masks, were delivered to NHS trusts on Monday, the prime minister’s spokesman said on Tuesday.
As the virus continues to sweep the UK, the death toll reached 44 among the country’s Jewish community as of Monday, up from 42 the previous day, according to data collated by the Board of Deputies today.
- You can donate to the campaign online here.