Earlier this month, Warren Vale (Senior Account Executive, Scotland) and I met with the team at Blood Bikes Scotland to present a cheque for £10,000. This grant is to go towards the funding of a new Blood Bike, which will allow them to provide extra service within Scotland.
About Blood Bikes Scotland
The original purpose of the charity was based around the premise of making a contribution towards the efforts of NABB (Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes). When told that in order to volunteer that a new group would need to be formed across the border, this resulted in the establishment of Blood Bikes Scotland.
Since having become a registered charity in 2014, Blood Bikes Scotland’s team of volunteers have largely worked for NHS Borders, basing themselves around the Borders General Hospital in Melrose. The scope of the charity’s work is significant, where their free of charge transport service to the NHS covers both primary and secondary care, supporting the likes of GPs, district nurses, care homes, community hospitals and secondary care hospitals.
With the extra helping hand from Blood Bikes Scotland, small, urgent medical items are able to be transported from one site to another via motorbike, and delivered where required in a timelier manner than conventional vehicles. They are renowned for their reliability, with the service being provided in all weathers in a friendly and professional manner, and are regarded as a pivotal support aspect towards patient care within both hospitals and the community.
Initially, the charity started off by only having two bikes in their fleet. Firstly, there was a Honda 1100 Pan European motorcycle which was donated by a member, and another was eventually based in Edinburgh when the NHS Lothian Flow Centre was established. The introduction of this second bike made a profound impact on charity’s service provision, and resulted in its first sizeable donation.
Due to the successes of working for NHS Lothian from 2017 onwards, Blood Bikes Scotland has also added NHS Fife and Forth Valley to their portfolio. Due to this increased demand, the number of motorcycles in the fleet has now increased to eight.
When Warren and I met with Jon Baxter, Blood Bikes Scotland Chairman and Founder, the need for an additional motorcycle was emphasised. Due to the group’s recent expansion to NHS Fife and Forth Valley, last year alone there were 3,000 trips. This number is only predicted to increase.
Jon also went on to explain the vast variety of medical items that are transported by their service, which go far beyond just blood alone. Other items also include organs, test samples, eggs of women about to undergo chemotherapy and many more. Without a blood bike service, these are often transported by taxi.
We look forward to seeing Blood Bikes Scotland flourish even more so in the future.
To find out more about Blood Bikes Scotland and how they are making a difference, please check out their website at https://bloodbikesscotland.co.uk/