NHS Trust U-Turn on Blood Bikers announced

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Published on 9 July 2019 by Mike Waters

A statement by Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikes (WSBB) has confirmed that they will be resuming their voluntary support of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust.

As the BMF previously reported, the Trust controversially ended its long-standing relationship between the Coventry and Warwickshire Pathology Service and the unpaid volunteers of the WSBB on April 1 2019 and announced that it would be replacing them with a limited company, QE Facilities Ltd, as part of a new £14 million contract.

The decision prompted a great deal of public outcry, including a petition on Change.org calling for a Parliamentary attention that garnered more than 30,000 signatures, and threw the future of the WSBB into doubt.

However, a statement by the WSBB on its Facebook page has confirmed that the Blood Bikers and the Trust will be working together once again and that the “WSBB will be providing an out of hours service from 7pm on week days, as well as a 24 hour service at weekends and bank holidays, for urgent and emergency requests.”

The WSBB’s Chairman, Mark Lavery, said: “It is with great pleasure that the Blood Bikes can once again do what we do best and help save University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust money with our free out of hours service totally run by volunteers and funded by kind donations from the public.”

Also commenting, the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Kelly, said: “The transport of samples is vital to our work and the Blood Bikers offer a dedicated, professional service. These kind volunteers, who give up their time free of charge, make a real difference to the people of Coventry and Warwickshire and local communities. We are delighted to continue working in partnership with WSBB. Our aim is to ensure the Pathology Service continues to go from strength to strength and helps to further enhance the patient experience.”

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BMF Motorcycle Rider interviewed Blood Bike rider Colette Falloon, who began volunteering with the charity in memory of her brother Marcel, to find out more about the charity and the valuable services it provides the NHS. You can read the feature here.