Blood Bikers - they need us as much as we need them
Just a little bit about Blood Bikes for a while.
In these times of Covid-19 many charities need money as they cannot carry out their normal fund-raising events. While the NHS are attracting plenty of attention and money – and rightly so, the National Blood Bike charity is missing out on their funding. I know my local one are desperate for money.
Blood Bike requests are to transport anything from whole blood (red cells), platelets, plasma, serum, surgical instruments to patient’s notes, X-rays, Human donor milk and MRI scans. These requests range from urgent (Priority 2), through to emergency (Priority 1) life-threatening scenarios.
Although these groups have saved a significant amount of money for the hospitals, they are primarily acknowledged by their client hospitals as providing a professional and high-quality service. The fact that they do this free of charge is just the icing on the cake.
Sadly – and because of Covid – their workload has more than doubled. I have these details from Mark Holroyd – who, as I write this has just come off of a 10-day shift. 10 days – no wages – this is voluntary.
To take one region, Cornwall, they have 60 volunteers spread across Admin, Motorcycle Riders and Car Drivers. They have no office, no paid people anywhere in their organisation, but they have 12 bikes and 2 old containers to store the bikes when not in use.
In 2012 when they first formed, they did 20 jobs in their first month. Now, they expect to do over 200 in a normal month as well as going to meetings, rallies, and shopping centres etc during the day to raise money to fund their organisation.
We are not in normal times. We are in Covid-19 times.
By 11th April 2020 – they would normally have expected about 90 essential jobs. By the morning of the 11th they had done about 230 jobs. They currently have 9 people on shift every night in Cornwall, and their bikes are doing massively more mileage than usual. One night they did 35 jobs.
Currently, because of the situation they are offering a service all day instead of what they normally do which is 5pm to 7am weekdays and all weekend. (NHS official in-house couriers only do 9-5 weekdays.) The only other choice the NHS have out of hours is to use a taxi. In Cornwall they estimate a saving to the NHS in the region of £150,000 - £200,000 per year.
The Cornwall blood bike service get nothing from the NHS. It probably costs about £700 a month to keep one of their motorcycles on the road. They have 12 of them. They need to pay for petrol, insurance, high-viz clothing, repairs and maintenance and a lot more – and currently, during lock-down they cannot go out to raise money.
Cornwall by the way are a small Blood Bike organisation – there are about 25 in the UK with 1,400 advanced qualified riders working free of charge every night of the year.
If you have 20 minutes and 7 seconds to spare – watch this video, it is relaxed, informative, and quite an insight.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GckYuRt2Ps0&t=1s – it will be a worthwhile and well spent 20 minutes.
CAN YOU HELP?
Yes - you can go to this website and donate - (it is on the top of their screen)
Or you can use that same page to find your local Blood Bike orgnisation and do something for them.
Thank you for reading this far!!