Dave Sammons, Paul Brooks and Graham Jones of North West Blood Bikes
Published on Thursday 15 March 2012 08:54
A retired policeman and keen motorcyclist is heading up a new emergency service where bikers will deliver blood and urgent medical items to hospitals across Lancashire.
Paul Brooks, 63, of Clayton-le-Woods, near Preston, is chairman of charitable organisation North West Blood Bikes Lancashire and Lakes, which has been formed to transport blood, breast milk for premature babies and other urgent medical items out-of-hours, to free up funds for hospitals.
Currently hospitals in Lancashire rely heavily on taxi and courier services to provide them with out-of-hours urgent transport, costing the NHS thousands of pounds each year.
North West Blood Bikes will aim to put a stop to that to allow the NHS to spend more money directly on patient care.
Paul, who was a traffic police officer in Preston and also worked in accident investigation, said: “I have been a motorcyclist since the age of 16 and also rode bikes in the police force.
“We now have 52 volunteer bikers and are hoping to go fully live in May. The charity will offer an out-of-hours emergency transport solution to hospitals and other healthcare establishments free of charge.
“We are presently in contact with hospitals across Lancashire, including the Royal Preston Hospital and need assistance from anyone who can help, either by volunteering to ride, or by helping to organise events to make money for the charity.
“Our service does more than just deliver blood supplies. The milk bank at the Countess of Chester Hospital regularly despatches donor breast milk to the Lancashire area for use by premature babies.
“These journeys can cost in excess of £100 each and have to be paid for by the receiving hospital.
“North West Blood Bikes will provide this urgent transport service to the milk bank free of charge.”
Dave Sammons, secretary for North West Blood Bikes, said “Our volunteers receive no payment and are not reimbursed with expenses.
“However, all of them undergo detailed training to be able to ride the charity’s motorcycles or drive the cars which are used to transport items around the county.”
Volunteers give up their time out of hours from 7pm to 6am and at weekends and Bank Holidays.