Tameside Hospital signs up for blood bikes first
06 June 2012

The Hospital Trust has signed up to use the service, run by North West Blood Bikes Manchester, to deliver non-emergency blood stocks to the hospital out of hours (from 7pm until 6am and at weekends).

North West Blood Bikes Manchester is made up of local people who have trained as special volunteers to transport blood and platelets ordered from the National Blood Service in Manchester. They will be used, in place of a taxi service, to transport the non-emergency blood to Tameside Hospital’s pathology department out of hours.

Tameside Hospital NHS Trust’s Deputy Diagnostics Manager Geoff Lavelle explained how it will work:

“Like all other acute hospitals, we have a large supply of blood securely stored at the hospital for patients. Sometimes, however, we may need a particularly type of blood. If this is needed in an emergency, we would use the emergency ‘blue light’ delivery service provided by the NHS Blood and Transplant Service.”

“If it is a non-emergency, we would use our own hospital transport service to pick up the blood during normal working hours. And we now have the additional service of North West Blood Bikes Manchester to pick up this non-emergency blood during out of hours.”

“We are really looking forward to working with this fantastic new service being provided by North West Blood Bikes Manchester. This is about Tameside people giving up their time to deliver a valuable, out of hours service for our patients. It is not about saving money, it is more about working with this charitable group, made up of great local people to enable them to put something back into their community.

“We think this is a very honourable and worthwhile service which will benefit our patients and we are proud to be part of it in the North West. Where the charity is more established in other parts of the country, they provide a valuable and effective complementary service which helps the NHS. We hope that other hospitals across the wider Greater Manchester region will soon sign up to the service too.”

Paul Redfern, chairman of North West Blood Bikes Manchester, said: “We hope this is the first of many agreements to provide this service within the North West. It’s a very worthwhile service and our volunteers feel they are giving something back to the community.”

All the volunteers involved in the service have to go through advanced training. The charity uses a former police bike and a Range Rover, both of which are fully branded and highly visible.

The service has been rigorously trialled and checked to The EU Blood Quality and Safety Standards 2005/50 to ensure it is safe and presents no risk to patients.

Also involved in the project is charity trustee Sean Parker Perry who is a motorcycling instructor and former councillor.

Sean said: “This is a fantastic service that gives local bikers the opportunity to use our passion for motorcycles for a great cause. I am delighted that I can use my skills as a DSA motorcycle Instructor to assist this charity."

"Tameside Hospital has been very supportive as NWBBM take our first steps towards delivering an out-of-hours non-emergency service and all of the Trustees and Volunteers would like to thank the management and staff."