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Countess of Chester Hospital working with life-saving 'blood bikes'

Six month trial has been declared a big success

Volunteer-led charity Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes is now transporting blood products and samples for the Countess of Chester Hospital

A lifesaving charity, which supports the NHS with urgent blood deliveries, is now working in Cheshire following a successful trial.

For the past six months Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes (SSBB) have been trialling transporting blood products and samples for the Countess of Chester Hospital from 3pm to 7am on weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays.

The volunteer-led charity, which already works with the North West Human Milk Bank in Chester and Leighton Hospital in Crewe, has been transferring urgent blood products between Countess and NHS Blood and Transplant in Speke since mid-April.

Their advanced trained motorcycle riders are able to navigate traffic more easily than a traditional van or courier, meaning more effective deliveries. The service is provided by the blood bikes for free, not only saving lives but vital NHS funds which can be used elsewhere for patient care.

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The pilot scheme has proved to be a great success, averaging 25 deliveries per month supporting haematology and oncology patients. Following the successful trial the Countess is now looking at the possibilities for rolling out the scheme to other departments.

In order to expand the service the charity are appealing for more volunteers in Cheshire - not just riders, but controllers to take calls from the hospitals and fundraisers too.

Chair of SSBB Helen Bundy said: “We are extremely proud to be working in Cheshire, it has taken a lot of hard work to get the service up and running, and we are always looking for more volunteers in the area.

“There is no set time commitment and we have a very flexible rota system which allows members to fit volunteering in around their lifestyle. We would urge anyone interested to get in touch - what better way to spend a few hours of free time than helping to save a life?”

Pathology quality manager at Countess of Chester Hospital Kathleen Holden said: “We had discussions with the Royal Stoke University Hospital, who already used SSBB, and they were more than happy to endorse them.

“They (the SSBB riders) play an important role in helping us continue to deliver a high standard of care to our patients and it has the potential to save the trust thousands of pounds.

“We want to say a huge thank you to all those blood bike riders, who volunteer their time taking part in transporting blood, components and samples for us. We feel incredibly lucky to have the chance to work with them and are excited about what it can lead to in the future.”

For more information on the charity, or if you would like to volunteer please visit www.ssbbgroup.org.uk or email chair@ssbbgroup.org.uk

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