Blood Bikes Cumbria go the distance to save lives

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is truly grateful for the service Blood Bikes Cumbria provide and the difference it has made to patient care over the last seven years.

Blood Bikes Cumbria is a group of dedicated volunteers who provide a free out of hours medical courier service to NCIC to transfer packages between different sites within the Trust’s area and also to hospital laboratories in the Newcastle area. They also ensure the daily delivery of blood and plasma supplies to the Langwathby base of the Great North Air Ambulance.

So far just this year, they have already completed over 81,900 miles, which is more than travelling around the globe twice!

Steve Hurd, Haematology Team Manager, Blood Sciences at the Cumberland Infirmary, said:

“Blood Bikes Cumbria first approached us in 2014, initially through the Transfusion department, and this quickly developed into supporting Blood Sciences with out of hour’s cross-site delivery of urgent samples on a nightly basis.

“The team of volunteers have continued to expand their role and have maintained provision of scheduled runs and an urgent call out service.

“In addition, every weekend and bank holidays, these Cumbrian men and women provide 24-hour cover that allows access to services, which are only available on one site, to be accessed sooner. They always work in an entirely professional and dedicated way and never once in these seven years have they failed to deliver.”

Blood Bikes Cumbria deliver much more than just blood such as samples, equipment, medication, breast milk and medical documents.

The group exists through the generosity of the charitable donations it receives and no one in the group is paid, every penny they get goes into running the group.

Graeme Thompson, Operations Manager for Blood Bikes Cumbria said:

“In the seven years that Blood Bikes Cumbria has provided our service to the NHS and Great North Air Ambulance Service our duties have expanded considerably.

“In 2020 Blood Bikes Cumbria carried out almost 2,000 runs collecting from 45 separate locations and so far this year we have already completed over 1300 (runs).

“Our team of controllers, fundraisers, advanced riders and drivers are all dedicated volunteers who give up their time, 365 days a year, to help ease some of the pressure on the numerous medical teams by transporting essential packages.

“The team at Blood Bikes Cumbria have very strong working relationships with over 20 departments that we serve and are grateful for the hard work these teams put in every single day, many behind the scenes to provide a first rate level of care to the communities in and around Cumbria.”

We are very grateful to the people of Cumbria that have donated towards our running costs in the past seven years. This generosity enables us to continue to provide our service, free of charge, to North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Great North Air Ambulance Service”.

Steve added:

“I urge you; our Cumbrian community to get behind the group in any way you can as they have had our backs over the last seven years.”


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