Author Topic: Something to get involved with  (Read 1283 times)

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2021, 12:00:29 pm »
The hospital where I worked (Carlisle) has a regular 24/7 van service to and from Newcastle. That’s because that was the nearest blood transfusion centre, as well as tertiary centre for everything else so a reliable transport service was essential. Also using contracted taxis if a van was not available. This has been the case for many years, long before blood bikers, out of necessity. In an urban setting, using bikes might have an advantage, getting through traffic more quickly, but in an rural setting, I don’t think they add much value, though they do operate in Cumbria also.  But they are popular with the public, and don’t cost the NHS anything.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

Re: Something to get involved with
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2021, 05:42:21 pm »
Not all of what they carry is bulk blood or platelets, though it is most of what they transport. You have to remember that most transport is by the routine NHS daytime deliveries, the out of hours is either an individual patient demand or higher than anticipated demand. Orders of more than one or two boxes to an individual hospital are unusual and the liveried bikes can typically take two.
Originally calls were often to take a sample to a lab at a different hospital, now it can be reagents from one lab to another. Also it can be medical notes from a nursing home to a hospital.
There are also day time roles now collecting breast milk donations or delivering blood between a hospital and the local air ambulance, taking any unused blood back that night so that it doesn't expire.
And this is where I get a bit grumpy about the whole concept of volunteering (including in my own sphere described up thread)
When volunteers are taking paid jobs away from people who would otherwise be earning a living - in this case taxi drivers & couriers - then volunteering falls somewhere between 'taking the piss' & 'providing a service on the cheap'.
I fail to see what added the value of 'blood bikes' is over and above the use of regular taxi / courier companies which worked perfectly well for the increasingly centralised laboratory services that I worked in and managed over many years.
Don't try the 'it saves money' argument - if a service is worth providing, it's worth funding properly. If it can't be funded then provide the service a different way, or not at all.
Beyond this niche there is a tendency for charity sector organisations to push the boundaries of what volunteers are asked / expected to do, so that the organisation can reduce its costs by not employing people to do the jobs now done by volunteers.

The main "value" that I am aware of besides the NHS getting a service for free, is that the volunteers have all been trained on and provided with a system of traceability and record keeping, including temperature control etc. that is as required by the hospitals and the blood and transplant service. It is this level of consistency and reliability that provides a confidence in the service the volunteers provide.

Though I agree ideally the NHS would have a 24/7 rota for all hospitals as Yoav describes this simply isn't the case for all hospitals which is where historically 40 years ago the volunteers stepped up to help out. Now they are established and are providing this service I suspect a number of Hospital budgets assume that this service is available rather than having to use couriers and taxis for a 2am Tooting to Brighton delivery.