Our latest bike, a BMW F900 XR, has now been added to the fleet and replaces our old Honda Deauville. In memory of Geoff Medland, our friend and call handler who died recently, the bike is now being run in and will be ready for full duties later this month. Thanks to the generosity of Geoff’s family and the Morrison’s Foundation, we have been able to commemorate his memory in a way he certainly would have wanted.
Big thanks to all our volunteers who have really stepped up to deal with the additional demands at this time. Hold on to your hats boys and girls, it could get even busier!
It’s been a busy week here at DBB as we pass the 1000th request in 2020 for our service from the NHS. With a lot happening in the background, we’ve finally been able to check and verify our activity data for March. (Please note – the Covid-19 numbers are an estimate of the contents of the boxes we’ve moved)
Journeys in March
Miles Travelled in March
Thank you to all those offering to come and help with our service in these unprecedented times. Our response to you deserves some explanation.
Some weeks ago, as the progress of the spread of the virus became more apparent, we took the decision to make some significant changes to what we do. Both to comply with the current advice (now law), to keep our volunteers safe and to carry out our essential work to the NHS, and of course, to ‘stop the spread and flatten the curve’.
- We stopped all non-essential activity
- We cancelled fundraising events
- We suspended recruitment and training
Clearly, some of this was to our detriment, but our judgement was, in the short and medium-term, that our volunteer corps and revenue reserves would sustain us. So, despite a small number of our volunteers needing to self-isolate for health reasons, the rest of our great team really stepped up to the challenge, offering more time to help our NHS.
Not only that, but a number of very welcome donations will also help with those fuel costs, up around 31% in March.
In the long term, our fundraising and recruitment will return and we are delighted that some of those offering to help have expressed an interest in joining our service when ‘normal service resumes’.
We know some have found our decision difficult to understand, but this is simply about halting the spread of the virus and keeping our current volunteer team healthy to continue our vital service to the NHS.
Also, the welfare of our volunteers, patients, staff and the public is important and the rapidly changing advice presents a number of challenges and is having a real impact on individual volunteers and our charity.
We have cancelled all our fundraising engagements for the next three months. A number of our supporters have also cancelled events, including a sponsored cycle ride and a theatre performance. We have also cancelled any non-essential parts of our service during this period. This means our fundraising income has gone or has been deferred for several months at a time when our operating costs are increasing.
We also face pressures as some of our volunteers are in the ‘vulnerable’ groups and cannot now help at this time. Sadly, because of the restrictions placed on us all, training new volunteers has been suspended until such time as we can be sure that this can be done safely. Other volunteers are stepping up their contributions so we will have a full team working 24 hours every day.
As we deliver our service, we are taking practical steps to adhere to current advice and agreed best practice;
- If any of our volunteers have any symptoms, no matter how mild, they have been asked to stand down and self-isolate
- Our volunteers will take every opportunity to ensure hygiene standards are met by regular hand washing and the use of hand sanitisers
- Our volunteers will attempt, wherever possible, to maintain social distance. This will include spending as little time as possible within our hospitals
- When collecting or delivering to wards, any handovers will take place at the doors to the ward and not in clinical areas
- When delivering medication to a patient at home, they are, by definition, vulnerable in health terms. We will treat all as though they are in self-isolation, and after identity verification, make the delivery on the doorstep, keeping at least 3 meters distance from the patient. We will not ask for a signature on our documents
- When collecting donated milk, similarly, we will pre-arrange the ‘remote handover’ process, placing an opened transport bag on the doorstep. The donor will put the bottles of frozen milk into the bag and step away. The volunteer will then seal the bag. On arrival at a Milk Bank, we will comply with any handover process put in place by staff.
- All our journeys will be made in clearly liveried vehicles, operated by and registered to Derbyshire Blood Bikes. Our journeys are classed as ‘essential’ to the operation of NHS services
Should more stringent legal powers be taken by the Government, we hope that our service remains operable within the legislation and we can continue to support our medical services.
Finally, we have some financial contingency that means we can continue our operations during this initial 3-month period but we will closely monitor our operating costs relating to fuel and fleet maintenance. So, an appeal too!
We know that many individuals and businesses may also be finding the current situation difficult, but if there is anyone out there who can help Derbyshire Blood Bikes (or even your local blood bike charity because we know they will all be facing the same challenges), please do so.
If you can help Derbyshire Blood Bikes, please call our general enquiries line on 07470 903215 or Email: email@example.com
2020 has come in like the winter storms for DBB, with runs totals already through the 500 mark in less than seven weeks of the new year! This was our annual total just 5 years ago! And we’re expecting even more this year as we expand our services.
More parts of our local NHS hospitals are now recognising the quality and scope of our capabilities to transport vital consignments. We’re also working hard to bring our regular service to even more parts of the Community Health and Community Midwifery services.
To do that of course, we also need the funding support and more volunteers. To be a Derbyshire Blood Biker, you’ll need to be a regular seasoned rider, with a least 2 years on a full UK licence. You’ll also need to have an advanced award from one of the recognised national Road Safety organisations.
If you think you have what it takes, please get in touch …. firstname.lastname@example.org
With 2019 now part of our history, here’s a quick view of what we manged to achieve!
Thanks to all our volunteers and supporters!
The recent completion of our 2000th journey for our local NHS in Derbyshire was a cause for celebration, it also signified another phenomenal increase in the demands on our FREE volunteer-led charity service. That’s good news for our enthusiastic motorcycling volunteers, but it also means our fundraising has to keep pace with the extra mileage.
Some of our journeys are made locally within a few miles of the City of Derby, such as;
- our regular service from London Road Community Hospital to the Royal Derby Hospital
- deliveries to many of the Health Centres across the City and Amber Valley, Erewash and South Derbyshire
- deliveries of vital daily medication to patients at home generally within 20 miles of the Royal Derby Hospital
- Transfers of diagnostic samples equipment or other supplies between Hospitals within the Burton and Derby Hospitals Trust group and the Chesterfield Royal Hospital
But over half of our journeys go much further;
- diagnostic samples to NHS facilities in Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol or London
- blood samples to NHS Blood and Transplant in Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham or Bristol
We also support the charity ‘Fighting Prostate Cancer’ who carry out prostate screening clinics across the UK, transferring their PSA samples to the testing facilities in Burton Hospital.
Together, these service will see us travel close to 100,000 miles in 2019, saving the NHS around £90,000 in transport costs.
But were not content there….
In 2020 we hope to see…
More volunteers. More fundraising events and opportunities and expanded services, with services to more parts of the NHS in Derbyshire.
We’re joining up with our friends from Nottinghamshire Blood Bikes and Leicestershire and Rutland Blood Bikes at Pidcock BMW in Long Eaton, to celebrate volunteering as a blood biker on the National Awareness Day – Friday August 16th 2019.
So if you’re interested in finding out more about how to become a blood biker and what that means across the East
Midlands, this is the place to go. Also joining us will be the Derbyshire UpRight Motorcycle Safety Campaign.
Accompanied demo rides of the BMW range will be available and you can also get your bike cleaned too! (for a small donation to the blood bike groups).
Plenty to do so come and spend a few hours in some great motorcycle company.
See you there!
At just before 1pm on Friday 14th June, Ken Shaw collected consignment #1000 for delivery by Derbyshire Blood Bikes, a batch of IV antibiotics for delivery to a patient’s home.
Testimony to the tremendous teamwork by some 40 volunteers – riders and drivers, call handlers, fundraisers and those in the background doing the administration and finance stuff.
But most of all, thanks to all those supporters who give so generously to keep our wheels rolling!