Who are we?
We are a group of self-funding volunteers operating as a registered charity to provide a free ‘out of hours’ delivery service to our NHS partners throughout Cornwall and beyond by arrangement. Although we are all volunteers, we operate to professional standards and comply with current legislation relating to our activities, which includes MHRA / NICE guidelines, UN3373 compliance and GMP training.
Cornwall Blood Bikes (Charity No. 1140165) was founded at an inaugural meeting of seven volunteers held in Pensilva, Cornwall on 27 January 2011 and received ‘Registered Charity Status’ on 2 February 2011, becoming fully operational in July 2012.
We are members of the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) whose membership of blood bike groups is countrywide and encompasses hundreds of motorcyclists who freely volunteer their time to the service, some groups boasting in excess of three decades of continual service to the NHS and the wider community.
The objects of the charity are:
1. To provide an ‘out of hours’ delivery service to transport items of a medical nature to locations throughout Cornwall.
2. To encourage safe riding practices both within and without the Charity.
3. To promote a positive image of motorcycling to the general public.
As we deliver our service outside of the normal operating hours of regular NHS transport services, we provide a significant financial saving to our NHS partners in contractor courier fees and private taxi fares. Using mainly motorcycles for transportation we are able to offer a fast, efficient and dedicated service which is exclusive to our NHS partners.
We have estimated that in 2018 alone we have saved our NHS partners in excess of £200,000 covering over 123,000 operational miles and completing 2,100 jobs.
Who Receives the Service?
Our services are available to our NHS partners on an ‘out of hours’ basis from 17:00 in the evening to 07:00 in the morning Monday to Friday and 24 hours over Weekends and Bank Holidays. Our riders deliver and collect from the hospitals and hospices throughout Cornwall and sometimes beyond.
Midwives, Acute Care at Home Teams, Nurses and Doctors working with patients in the community are able to access our service for ‘urgent’ (can’t wait until tomorrow) ‘out of hours’ deliveries by arranging for deliveries and or collections to be made to their nearest hospital. This ensures the safety of our riders and helps us to operate an efficient and fast service.
To Use the Service
To use our services it is simply a matter of calling the duty co-ordinator on 0300 365 0911 and we will delighted to help with any ‘urgent’ requests (that can’t wait until tomorrow). All we ask is that the delivery is of a medical nature and that it is understood that we are all volunteers and therefore may not be able to help immediately if we are already committed elsewhere. No payment is expected or received for our services.
Please note that as we offer an ‘out of hours’ service run by volunteers. Therefore our 0300 call out number is not manned and will not be answered outside of our normal operational hours. With this in mind it is always best to call during operational hours rather than leave answerphone messages which could result in unnecessary delays if we are busy.
Who Delivers the Service?
Our deliveries are made by volunteers who are required to be qualified advanced motorcyclists (IAM, RoSPA or equivalent) and that have undergone an assessment of their riding skills as well as bespoke training in relation to sample handling and the procedures required for working with our NHS partners. Our volunteers freely give up their time to serve the community and do this in the knowledge that they will almost certainly never meet the patients that they are helping and who will probably never know of the existence of the Cornwall Blood Bike service or that it played any part in their recovery.
Our volunteers are provided with the necessary kit (satchels, spill kits, etc) to meet the requirements for carrying goods as specified by our NHS partners whether using one of our liveried Blood Bikes or their own private motorcycle. Identity Cards are carried by our volunteer members which are worn and visible at all times when on duty.
High-visibility jackets and liveried motorcycles mean our riders are very visible to the public so it is essential that they behave with the utmost professionalism at all times. This contact is our opportunity to impress and so promote a positive image of motorcyclists and what we are doing for our community.
If you are keen to get involved and to become a volunteer of the Cornwall Blood Bikes service we would be delighted to hear from you. We are always looking for volunteers who hold an advanced riding qualification to ride, to coordinate our calls and to possibly help with our fundraising initiatives.
We also hold bi-monthly volunteer meetings so if you would like to come along to meet us and understand a little more of who we are and what we do you are welcome to do so. Dates and venues are published on our events calendar.
What can you do?
We need riders and we need motorcycles to deliver our service and we need the funds to finance it. We receive no official funding from the NHS or Government and consequently fund raising is a fundamental activity for our volunteers. We need every penny we can raise and you can help the us by assisting in raising the funds which will enable us to keep our motorcycles on the road, and their wheels turning.
What else do we do?
In line with the charity’s objects to encourage safe riding practices both within and without the charity and to promote a positive image of motorcycling to the general public, we actively support our community by attending various community events throughout the county.
As all advanced motorcyclists we do our best to promote a positive and professional image to the public and are passionate about supporting and encouraging riders to develop their riding skills through further training. To this end we have negotiated discounted course fees with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) for their Skill for Life Course with the aim of encouraging new volunteer members to join us and to develop their riding skills to become safer riders, enjoy their riding even more and to put their riding skills to use in our local community.
Cornwall Blood Bikes is bound by the Data Protection Act 1976 and all information passed to and held by us is treated with the appropriate privacy protection.