Derbyshire Blood Banks aims to expand

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Derbyshire Blood Bikes provides its service free-of-charge to the NHS with the aim of saving the NHS money on urgent transport costs.

Around 60 per cent of the group’s journeys take them beyond the county border, delivering essential and urgent diagnostic samples to facilities in Sheffield and Birmingham, but also laboratories in Leeds, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol are used by both Derby and Chesterfield hospitals.

As well as diagnostic samples, they can also be asked to carry blood and blood products, medication, equipment and records.

Recently, Derbyshire Blood Bikes has also begun to provide a service to the hospital’s pharmacy department.

Mark Vallis, who co-ordinates the service, said: “The pharmacy service continues to support many patients after they leave hospital or if they have life-long conditions. We are now delivering IV-antibiotics and haemophilia medication and the feedback from these patient groups has been 100 per cent positive. They’re experiencing an effective service which delivers on time, with a smile and very often a doorstep chat. That’s a new and very satisfying part of what we do.”

Derbyshire Blood Bikes is proud to support the local NHS and respond to a variety of requests but with more activity comes increased pressure on funding. For 2018, they will need to raise around £18,000 to keep the service running.

What does the future hold for Derbyshire Blood Bikes? The strategic aim for the group is to be the only service the hospital uses for transporting medical consignments.

Mark said: “To achieve this, we will need more volunteers and probably change the way we operate. Inevitably, we’ll need more resources too. But I’m confident, with incremental developments, we will achieve that in time.”

Visit www.derbyshirebloodbikes.org for more information.