SVJC Trust and B.K. Walawalkar Hospital, India
A team of volunteer healthcare professionals from the UK have been travelling out to B.K. Walawalkar Hospital in Dervan, on the West Coast of India, for over ten years. The Link, originally initiated by Dr Sanjay Deshpande of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, has involved lots of volunteers from South Tyneside Trust as well as from several other Trusts in the region (such as City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust) and from Trusts in London.
In 2009, the Link gained charitable status and has since been named the SVJC Charitable Trust. Over the years, SVJC teams have included surgeons, anaesthetists, biomedical engineers and specialist nurses. This work is featured on the UK Royal College of Anaesthetists website as an Out Of Programme Experience and on Newcastle Medical School’s website for Electives. The main purpose of the trips to Walawalkar Hospital is to educate, perform and assist surgical procedures as well as check medical equipment to improve patient safety in the hospital. Funds raised for SVJC Charitable Trust support some air travel costs and shipments of donated equipment.