A motorcycle charity is appealing for volunteers to help it deliver blood to more hospitals. Northumbria Bloodbikes helps save the NHS money and saves lives by delivering blood and urgent medical supplies to hospitals out of hours.
It aims to cover Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Country Durham but would need 150 volunteers. Currently it has around 100.
The service saves the NHS money because, outside normal office hours when hospital's internal courier service is not available, they would have to rely on taxis or couriers to make urgent transfers.
– Russell Irwin, Haematology and Transfusion Manager, Darlington Memorial HospitaL
"Blood products are essential to our work and the blood bikers offer a dedicated means of courier transport to replenish supplies quickly and efficiently when they are running low.
"We keep blood banks at the hospital with stocks of all types of blood. But when a department is busy and demand is high, or when we need blood with special requirements or blood products such as platelets, we need to restock.
Volunteers are trained to advanced-level motorcyclists and attend a blood handling course. The riders are uniformed and the motorbikes are all easily identified - liveried with the Blood Bikes' logo and colours.**
Alan Ross is from Northumbria Bloodbikes.