Which charity is a strategic partner for the NHS – and saves the health service hundreds of thousands of pounds each year? Blood Bikes!
A team from the Greater Manchester group recently visited South Lancashire Soroptimists’ regional meeting. Volunteer speaker – and avid biker – Bharat Patel told the story of the charity and its service.
The bikers provide out-of-hours transport for blood, platelets, samples, surgical instruments, vaccines, human donor milk and many other clinical products across the UK and Ireland.
The volunteers kick into daily action once the NHS transport service stops. From 7pm to 6am during the week, and 24 hours at weekends and bank holidays, Blood Bikers can be called out. They also work with other organisations – Air Ambulance charities, for example, for replenishment of their ‘Blood on Board’ service.
As Bharat explained, the volunteers’ service is completely free of charge – and that’s where the ‘strategic partnership’ is critical. Blood Bikes’ rapid response has allowed the NHS to save vast amounts of money previously spent on taxiing urgent out-of-hours clinical supplies.
Blood Bikes depend on public sponsorship and donations to maintain this vital free service. As the Greater Manchester Blood Bikes website says “The cargo we deliver, Whatever the amount, Our volunteers know for those who lie waiting, Every drop will count!”
Soroptimist Sriya Kulupana (Region Programme Action Officer) took the opportunity to ‘try out’ one of the specially adapted Blood Bikes. “I am in awe of the service these volunteers provide”, she said.
“The riders, their duty controllers who manage the calls, and the behind-the-scenes team are all life-savers. They ride for our lives.”
An earlier report on a Blood Bikes’ visit to Stockport and District Soroptimists can be seen here.