A generous donation from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) will keep a team of emergency volunteer bikers, who provide a lifeline service for local NHS patients and services, on the road for a further 12 months.
ELHT Pathology Manager Jeff Cottam presented a cheque for £7,000 to North West Blood Bikes Chairman Paul Brooks, a significant donation towards the charity’s bike equipment, maintenance and petrol as well as making sound financial sense for the NHS.
“North West Blood Bike volunteers provide a fantastic service to the hospitals and NHS patients of East Lancashire, no matter what unsociable time we call them or whatever the weather,” said Pathology Manager, Jeff Cottam.
“The Trust has benefitted from the biker’s work for several years now and making this donation helps to keep North West Blood Bikes on the road and represents a substantial saving on what it would cost the NHS if we contracted a private transport service to provide the same service.”
To thank North West Blood Bikes, Jeff and his colleagues at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital welcomed two dozen volunteer bikers for a tour of the hospital’s laboratories, followed by a ‘thank you’ buffet.
“Our thanks to everyone at East Lancashire Hospitals for this very welcome donation and it was great to meet the lab staff and learn so much about what happens to the samples we transport,” says North West Blood Bikes Chairman, Paul Brooks.
"At no cost, we transport blood and other products between hospitals and other medical facilities. Everyone at North West Blood Bikes is a volunteer. We all want to put something back into the NHS and blood biking is our way of making that commitment."
As well as transporting emergency blood supplies around East Lancashire during evenings and at weekends, the volunteers at North West Blood Bikes also deliver X-rays results, breast milk and samples for laboratory testing across Lancashire and as far north as the Lake District.
“Across the County, North West Blood Bikes saved the NHS £359,192 last year, a huge sum when you think about it that buys a lot of medical equipment,” added Paul Brooks. “Include Blood Bike groups across the UK and it equates to millions of pounds”.