Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes
Whilst Blood Bikes have been visible across many parts of the country in recent years this local charity only launched in January 2014 and are rapidly expanding as the need for the service increases.
The service provided covers both Shropshire and Staffordshire and could help save the life of any of us and our family members. They are a volunteer service providing free, out of hours, urgent transportation of life saving medical supplies to N.H.S. hospitals across our region. Their aim is to provide a professional service which supports the NHS in enhancing patient care. Without blood bikes a taxi or courier would be called at a charge of up to £250.00 a time but their experienced advanced motor cycle riders are able to negotiate traffic to save not only money but vital minutes when time is of the essence!
They regularly transport blood samples between the Queens Hospital, Burton on Trent and Samuel Johnson Community Hospital in Lichfield to the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. They have also made deliveries to the Sir Robert Peel community hospital in Tamworth.
On December 1st they started offering a service to the University Hospitals of North Midlands covering the Royal Stoke and County, Stafford. Leighton Hospital, Crewe is hoping to come on board soon.
Within Shropshire, the Princess Royal Hospital at Telford, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Bridgnorth Maternity utilise the service. Recently, Robert John Agnes Hunt Hospital in Oswestry and Ludlow Maternity have also come on board. They hope that very soon local hospices will also benefit from the Blood Bike Service.
They transport blood, platelets, various test samples, cerebral spinal fluid, meningitis fluid, frozen plasma, donated breast milk for tiny babies as well as patient records and medical equipment. They anticipate extending this range to meet future hospital needs.
They are all volunteers giving their time freely for what they believe is becoming a valued and necessary service for our communities. The Riders have all obtained advanced rider status and their Controllers are trained to act efficiently and respond urgently to requests from our hospitals. They routinely dispatch riders within minutes of a request for assistance.
As you will appreciate the purchase, running and maintaining of our group bikes is their main outlay and they rely on fundraising, donations and sponsorships to cover these costs. They do their best to have a presence at shows and events around the counties both to raise awareness of their service and to raise much needed funds. Some riders utilise their own motorbikes as they await the growth of their fleet. A new bike can cost between £6000-£12000 and funds are obviously needed to cover running and maintenance costs.
They are in their infancy as a charity and as they grow their costs will increase and sponsorship and the ability to raise awareness of SSBB will be essential to allow them to continue to provide the excellent service they are becoming recognised for and to ensure their standards are maintained as they progress.