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Posted on Mar 15 2022 by Fiona Bailey

A consultant psychiatrist who grew up in Ukraine and now works for St Andrew's Healthcare in Northampton is orchestrating the creation of four field hospitals across the invaded country.

Dr Alexei Titievskii, who was born in Finland but grew up in Ukraine, has been given a month away from his daily working duties with the charity to oversee the project.  

Alexei’s mother and older brother are still in the country and his nephew is currently fighting on the front line. Understandably concerned, he wanted to do something to help so he talked to the charity's CEO Jess Lievesley who was very sympathetic to his cause.

Alexei said: “I couldn’t stand by while the country I consider to be my home was invaded, so I’ve brought together a team of volunteers, medical experts and humanitarians to help make these hospitals a reality.”

He drew on his experience from his time spent in the military when he was drafted in as a medical doctor when Afganistan was invaded in the 80s.

He said: “I know what it is needed and I have many military and political connections so I’ve been able to move fairly swiftly on this. We’ve got lorries leaving for Ukraine on a daily basis delivering medical supplies such as x-ray machines, beds, medication and iv fluids and tubing.

“I’m just hugely grateful to St Andrew’s for allowing me to have time away from work so I can fully focus on the logistics of this operation.”

Alexei has been working closely with a paramedic called Connor who is currently in Ukraine providing medical training to those on the frontline.

His master plan is to set up four field hospitals across the country which will give variable treatment to the wounded depending on their severity. The first stage is to get a hospital up and running in Kiev. On Thursday he is flying to Ireland where a 40ft container which will be full of medical supplies will start its journey to the conflicted country.

Alexei himself, who is dedicating his days to overseeing logistics and organising lorry pick ups has used his own money to buy two second-hand 4x4s which, once they arrive, will be used as makeshift ambulances on the frontline to assess wounded soldiers and deliver them to the hospital he is setting up.

Anna Williamson, Senior Staff Nurse at Berkeley Close Lodge, has been supporting Alexei and his team.

She said: “It’s been a truly team effort and what Alexei has championed is hugely impressive. I’m very proud to stand by his side and support the Ukrainians and I’m also very humbled to work for a charity that supports it staff in this way.”

CEO Jess said: “We were only too happy to support Alexei and his fantastic efforts. What he must be going through right now, while he knows his family are still in Ukraine must be terrifying, which is why we stand united with him every step of the way.

“One of our charity’s main values is to give people hope and we can’t think of any other better way to promote this than by helping one of our staff members set up hospitals in a war-torn country. We applaud Alexei and his dedication and anyone else who is going above and beyond for the crisis.”

Now, the team are looking for more volunteer support. They are also appealing for medical supplies, fuel, money and storage space. Should anyone wish to help or donate Alexei is currently based at the Combat Cellar in Northampton, which is opposite the station on the same site as the petrol station.