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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

                                 FREEWHEELERS


Often, when patients arrive early and osteos run late, it's a good opportunity to get chatting to patients and discover all sorts of fascinating things you knew nothing of before! So today, when a patient arrived in full "Emergency" biker wear, I initially mistook him for a policeman, but was soon put right that he was actually a volunteer courier for delivering blood between Southmead hospital and wherever it's needed, be that road traffic accidents, air ambulance, or to other hospitals. Across the whole country there are 125 bloodbikers who support the NHS in this way, and in our own area (Bristol Bath Taunton) we have four. They each carry 5 units of blood (an air ambulance carries just 2) and between them they will usually cover 410 miles each day, that's the same distance as Bristol to Paris! The bikes are police spec BMW's which cost £18,000 each. The charity costs £100,000 a year to run and is manned entirely by volunteers, be they bikers, fund-raisers, telephone operators or administrators. I'm sure I have seen Blood bikes out and about, but never given them much thought before. Next time I will certainly give them a respectful nod. I am also going to see if I can volunteer my telephone skills!

For far more information than what I've learnt in the Chandos Clinic reception area this morning, please visit:
http://www.freewheelers.org.uk/

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