Redundant Melton hospital beds which are being shipped to Africa ‘will undoubtedly save lives’ when they are used by patients there.
That was the prediction made by the International Medical Education Trust (2000) which is organsing the transfer to support health services in rural parts of the country.
Fifteen beds, from Melton Mowbray Hospital and from the Evington and Bennion Centres in Leicester, are being donated because they had come to the end of their NHS life.
IMET (2000) is arranging for them to be delivered to a new hospital at Herona in Uganda, which currently only has a single hospital bed.
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) has also donated four defibrillators, three vital signs machines, three ECG machines and three suction units.
Kerry Palmer, LPT’s medical devices asset manager, said: “The beds are at the end of their life, and are no longer supported by the manufacturer so we need to replace them.
“We try to make donations two or three times a year, depending on when we are replacing older stock with new.
“All the equipment has been serviced free of charge by our commercial partners, Avensys and Medstrom.
“We try wherever we can to donate to a good cause.
“Otherwise, we would have had to have paid a disposal fee under electrical waste regulations, and the equipment could have ended up in landfill.”
Previously donated LPT equipment has been sent to Fiji, Ghana, Pakistan and Syria.
Kathy Green, trustee for the International Medical Education Trust, said the equipment was going to a new hospital.
She said: “The equipment that was donated by LPT will undoubtedly save lives.
“At the moment the beds at Herona hospital are home-made ones, which are really basic and not ideal for the very sick patients that come through the doors.
“They are very proud of their one existing hospital bed, but will be over the moon about having 15 more.”
She added: “Items such as the defibrillators, monitors and ECGs will be vital to treating 1,000 to 2,000 patients that present at Herona each month.
“The health care away from the main cities in Uganda is very limited, services are hard to come by and many people die unnecessarily.
“IMET 2000 works in a number of different countries, primarily providing training for surgeons, doctors and nurses who would otherwise struggle to access good medical training.
“This is our first project in Uganda.
“We have been building and equipping the hospital for the past two years and we will also provide additional training to the qualified staff who work there.
“We are delighted with the progress the hospital has made in such a short time.”