Bikers geared up for NHS blood delivery

Blood Biker Nigel Barlow with members of Ponteland Lions Club.
Blood Biker Nigel Barlow with members of Ponteland Lions Club.

PONTELAND LIONS CLUB

At a meeting of Ponteland Lions Club members found out a lot they did not know about Northumbria Blood Bikes.

Biker Nigel Barlow explained that although it has only been in existence for three years, the service’s work has grown rapidly.

Blood Bikes operates at weekends and from 7pm to 7am each weekday.

From starting out servicing the needs of Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, it now transports blood to where it is needed for all hospitals across Northumberland and County Durham.

Bikers can also meet their Cumbrian equivalents at the border and transfer their blood cargo for use in Cumbria.

The service also has links with the Great North Air Ambulance Service, which ensures blood can be introduced to patients as quickly as possible, thus giving them better chances of recovery.

In addition, the bikers will transport patients’ notes and x-rays for the NHS.

Northumbria Blood Bikes is reliant on donations and is completely free to NHS trusts to use, thereby saving them the cost of employing couriers.

Starting with three bikes, the service now has ten, plus four cars and an ex-NHS van.

The bikers and their associates are volunteers and all have advance biking or motoring qualifications.

It costs £15,000 to replace a bike and petrol costs for the fleet run at £2,500 each month.

In thanking Nigel for his most informative talk, Lion Anke Jackson praised the work and commitment of all involved with Northumbria Blood Bikes, which will soon be receiving a donation from the Ponteland Lions.