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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Bikers are on a mission to save NHS vital funds

VOLUNTEER motorcyclists are riding through the night delivering a new life-saving service for patients at West Cumberland Hospital.

OFF TO IT: Rob and Julie Fisher from Lakeland Motorcycles are sponsoring the area’s Blood Bikes. Here they watch riders Alan Bragg, right and Rod Wickham set off

Blood Bikes carry medical samples, notes, and equipment between hospitals through the night. And there are now 50 riders who make up the team for Cumbria which launched earlier this month.

Before the Blood Bikes, hospitals had to pay courier or taxi prices to transport goods.

Runs are now being done between the Whitehaven hospital, Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and laboratories in Newcastle.

Alan Bragg, of Whitehaven, is treasurer and rider for Cumbria Blood Bikes. He said: “We receive no payment for our services and all riders have to pay for fuel and maintenance costs.

“This way the money which would have been spent can go back into patient care.”

Blood Bikes Cumbria launched earlier this month and to help them make their deliveries a new motorbike has been donated by Lakeland Motorcycles.

The team now has a Honda Pan Europe ST1100 and the Pica based company have also agreed to pay for the maintenance for the bike.

“We are indebted to everyone at Lakeland,” said Alan.

“It’s great to be able to add another bike to our fleet which will go on to save lives.”

A one-off donation of £3,600 has also been made to the group by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust to help with setting up costs.

The scheme was set up after retired airline manager and bike enthusiast, Bill Bertham, from Carlisle, wanted to thank those who helped his wife through non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Bill said: “I am immensely proud we have been able to launch an out of hours service between 6pm and 6am and all day at weekends and bank holidays in just two months.

“The response I’ve had from bikers only too willing to provide their skills, time and equipment in the provision of this fantastic service and all the volunteers has been extremely gratifying.”

Alan added: “We are just a bunch of guys who like riding motorbikes and want to do some good and give back to the community.”

Steve Hurd, haematology team manager at the Trust, said: “When I found out what Bill was planning, I offered my wholehearted support as I knew about how successful the Blood Bikes service has been in other parts of the country.

“We get an accredited level of service, blood and other samples handled with clinical precision and delivered between our hospitals in a timely fashion at short notice regardless of the unsociable hours – and it is completely free.”

To get involved email blood bikescumbria@gmail.com

Have your say

This sounds like a very good idea. Bikes are quicker, don't get snarled up in traffic and are cheaper to run and maintain than a taxi. Well done guys.

Posted by oogivesatoss on 21 August 2014 at 12:35

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