Paralympian and TV star Jonnie Peacock praises new children’s ambulance service

Paralympic sprint star Jonnie Peacock is supporting new children's ambulance service PaNDR as it launches in Cambridgeshire.

Doddington's paralympic sprint star Jonnie Peacock is supporting PaNDR, a specialist ambulance service for babies and children that is now in Cambridgeshire. - Credit: ADDENBROOKE'S HOSPITAL

Paralympic sprint star Jonnie Peacock - who had a gold post box painted in his honour in Doddington after the 2012 Olympics - is supporting a specialist ambulance service for babies and children as it launches in Cambridgeshire.

Jonnie, now 28, is supporting the PaNDR (paediatric and neonatal decision support and retrieval service) as he had to be treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital 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.

Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock won a joint Bronze medal in the Men's 100m - T64 Final

Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock won a joint Bronze medal in the Men's 100m - T64 Final during the Athletics at the Olympic Stadium on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan. - Credit: Tim Goode/PA Wire 

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.

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"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.”

The 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.

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.”

The 24/7 PaNDR operation - which also launched across Norfolk and Suffolk - 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