Warwickshire blood bikers receive much-needed donation to help them continue to provide emergency services

They estimate their services save the NHS up to £500,000 a year.
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A blood bikers charity in Warwickshire has received much-needed donation to help them continue to provide emergency services.

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Earlier this week, Alan Brickwood and Martin Williams of Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikers (WSBB) came to talk to the Warwick Rotary Club about their work.

Left to right: Alan Brickwood, Warwick Rotary President Keith Talbot on WSBB’s BMW 1250RT bike and Martin Williams. Photo suppliedLeft to right: Alan Brickwood, Warwick Rotary President Keith Talbot on WSBB’s BMW 1250RT bike and Martin Williams. Photo supplied
Left to right: Alan Brickwood, Warwick Rotary President Keith Talbot on WSBB’s BMW 1250RT bike and Martin Williams. Photo supplied

WSBB is a registered charity run by 150 unpaid, trained and certificated volunteers providing emergency cover out-of-hours on weekdays, and 24 hours at weekends and bank holidays to support the NHS free of charge.

They transport essential medical items between hospitals and homes throughout Warwickshire and Solihull, and via a national network transport vital supplies quickly across the country in emergencies.

Martin told Rotarians that the Covid-19 pandemic transformed their work as hospitals try to keep patients at home to reduce infections, and achieve earlier discharges.

Bikers are now also asked to deliver licensed drugs and prescriptions to critically sick patients at home, as well as Chemotherapy drugs reducing visits to hospital.

Alan Brickwood, Warwick Rotary President Keith Talbot, and Martin Williams. Photo suppliedAlan Brickwood, Warwick Rotary President Keith Talbot, and Martin Williams. Photo supplied
Alan Brickwood, Warwick Rotary President Keith Talbot, and Martin Williams. Photo supplied

Deliveries and collections run at more than 250 a month, a single collection and delivery might include one or, as during the height of the pandemic, many hundreds of items.

Bikers transport bloods, including plasma, spinal fluids, and tissue samples, milk for premature babies, and link the National Blood Bank with main hospitals, as well as supplying the Air Ambulance with bloods for call-outs.

WSBB has a fleet of six vehicles comprising three high visibility liveried motorcycles, two small vans and a car. Motorcycles typically cover 3,000 miles per month and need to be replaced each year.

Operating costs, including replacement of vehicles, insurance, servicing, maintenance and fuel amounts to around £70,000 per annum which is funded entirely from donations.

They estimate their services save the NHS up to £500,000 a year.

WSBB covers hospitals in Warwick, Stratford, Rugby, Nuneaton, Leamington, Shipston Upon Stour, Solihull and interacts mainly with the National Blood Bank and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

Thanking Martin and Alan for their presentation, Rotarian Laurie Day said he had reason to be thankful as an emergency blood transport saving his baby daughter.

President Keith Talbot presented them with a donation from the club towards their work.

To find out more about volunteering or donating go to: www.wsbb.org