Recent Group Wide Mails & Notices

Here is a copy of group wide emails sent over the last 6 months or so.
(note: this list does not include the operational “shout outs” to d
rivers / riders to fill shifts)

 


11th April 2020
Corona Virus – NHS Blood and Transplant Update

Hello all

In recent news / updates I had shared that the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) had been talking with the NHS Blood and Transfusion (NHSBT) about possible support from the Blood Bike groups up and down the country.

John Stepney (Chair of NABB) has shared today with the Blood Bike groups the following:

“We have had a couple more meetings with NHSBT on the support that they were seeking from us. So far, they have seen a reduction in their normal demands, primarily due to hospitals stopping all non urgent operations and elective surgery. They have experienced a temporary reduction in their in-house driver resource, due to illness, however their existing team and their primary contractors have been able to supply resource to cover this.
The conclusion currently is that we are unlikely to be called upon in the short term for hospital deliveries.
We will remain in dialogue with NHSBT for hospital deliveries to ensure that we can respond should the situation change”

So, for us and other Blood Bike Groups there will not be any additional “runs” required for NHSBT in the immediate future. As John points out he will continue to be in touch and let us know should the situation change.

Keep safe all

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


Corona Virus – Update 9th April 2020
Hello all

I hope that you, your families and friends are keeping safe. Where you have been impacted by the virus our thoughts are very much with you.

As in previous updates, we continue to listen to the advice of those guiding us. We continue to do our work, albeit our work is on a voluntary, unpaid basis

Two areas of key importance:
(a) Do not be in close proximity of others at work (in labs and hospital areas etc), guidelines are 2 metre separation. If lifts are busy at hospital locations – use the stairs.
(b) Keep hands washed before, during and after work as well as following other specific job related cleanliness procedures

An overview as of today regarding our group activities:  

  1. We have prepared ourselves to be in the best state of readiness we can be in to support NHS teams with their transportation needs. We now have a day time volunteer ready from this week and also from this week our night shift volunteer has a back-up rider/driver on standby.
    But, as yet, the workload increase that the hospital teams have talked about has thus far not materialised. Although this might feel frustrating we are ready. We see the news, we want to help the NHS teams and we are ready if and when they call. So, even if as yet we are not carrying out daily multiple call outs you can be proud that you have been part of the group’s readiness footing and been willing to jump in and offer your time. Most people consider the current situation is not going away fast so our readiness may well be called upon in the near future. 
  2. Some details update:
    (a) We have moved to van usage for day and night shifts in order to offer maximum hygiene facilities to our volunteers. We have procured supplies of gloves, hand sanitiser, soap, water, hand towels. This, in itself, was quite a task.
    You may have seen other groups around the UK moving COVID samples with motorcycles. That is due to their own decisions how best to enable hygiene considerations to be met alongside the process their own hospital teams have for packaging Covid samples.We consider usage of vans gives the maximum ability for hygiene for our volunteers with the movement of Covid-19 samples in our two counties.

    (b) This week we now have on shift a day-time volunteer and controller in readiness for calls from the hospital departments. The NHS teams have our number and we are ready. However, the NHS do still have their own team of employed day-time drivers in place, albeit in some cases depleted due to the virus. We have prepared ourselves and you have stepped up to fill the rota to help. Please be patient and understand that for now we are in a state of readiness and the workload we are prepared for has yet to materialise.

    (c) We have a back-up volunteer now on standby every night to support the regular nightshift volunteer. This means the main volunteer is always available to move the critical Covid samples. If we receive a call to for transport to Sheffield or Cambridge our standby volunteer will do this. Again, this is a state of readiness.

    (d) We remain available to support the Birmingham Women’s hospital with the movement of donated breast milk from Leicestershire and Rutland mothers as and when needed. This is likely to remain at a low level as it has been since we started this service.

    (e) We continue to keep in close contact with the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes as they liaise with the NHS Blood and Transplant services nationally for potential support with transport needs as their team of employed drivers becomes hit by the virus situation. Again, we are ready but the services of Blood Bike groups has not yet been called upon.

    (f) Jonathan is in regular contact with the NHS leader for the regional movement if testing equipment and chemicals between counties as they need to balance items and chemicals between the various testing laboratories. In parallel the regional NHS team are looking at options to move test kits to the region’s prisons and return samples to labs.
    Again, we are ready, but as yet we have not been called into service.

    (g) I have contacted the Midlands Blood Bike group to let them know that if they are called into service to support the large “Nightingale” hospital being set up at the NEC and need any additional help to let us know. We are ready and willing.

    (h) The Friday afternoon stand alone team supporting Loughborough and outlying hospital is suspended as the low level support they need will be handled by the day time shift volunteer

    (i) REFLEX van hire have confirmed that if we get an upturn in workload they will make available to us a second van for our use. This would give us a fleet of 3 vans available

    (j) Both the GoodSam group and the Royal Voluntary Service have let me know they are not able to co-ordinate with groups such as ours but are dealing with individuals who have applied to the general NHS volunteer system.

In summary we are as ready as we can be to support our NHS teams. I know it feels a little frustrating to see the situation in the hospital on news programmes and to not be flat out moving items to support the NHS workers in this current situation. My conclusion for today is that you can be proud that we are ready and the rotas are fully booked.

As a group we remain here to help and myself and Jonathan continue to make sure all the relevant hospital teams know we are here and that they have our controller number to call for anything they need to be moved.

Keep safe all
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


7th April 2020
Corona Virus – BackUp Volunteer Rota

Hello all,

Please use this link to see the list of our volunteers who are on our night time “back-up” volunteer list.
You can also read our current process for using the back-up volunteers especially please note the plan to only collect a vehicle if you get a call.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZXltTH1yLIeLiwMQ6zpAPW0wG1sKagwWx-htEBmQiQw

As of today, there are 21 people willing to be night time back-up volunteers, so you are only going to be needed every 3 weeks or so. Appreciate we all want to help but the number of willing volunteers means individuals are only needed for back-up duties every few weeks during the current situation.  But, the situation is fluid so we’ll keep you informed

Any queries please contact me directly via rota@lrbloodbikes.org.uk or mobile 07789 393465

The allocation of dates to back-up volunteer will show on a 10-14 day look ahead basis and will be shown on the monthly master rota which you check from the group web site members area.  As dates are added we’ll try and alert you via text that you are now allocated a back-up date. When it comes to your date please keep in touch with the controller for the date relating to any shift / vehicle issues.

PLEASE NOTE: We have set up the back-up list as a fall back. The need for you to be used if you are the back up volunteer is, at present, around 10% or less. So, only a small chance but does mean the regular night shift volunteer is available for all local jobs.

Thanks all, keep safe

Phil Palmer
(Group Rota Manager)


6th April 2020
Corona Virus – Weekday Daytime shift bookings

Hello all

Well, wow !!!!

The enthusiasm and willingness of the group to volunteer to support the NHS teams by booking the “new” weekday day shifts has been phenomenal. Astounding.

In the space of a couple of hours the next 7 weeks or so of the weekday, daytime shifts were booked up.

I have received some messages of disappointment from some of our group who would like to be able to be part of the Blood Bike support to our NHS teams but have found there are no day-time shifts available until around early June.

The willingness of those who have booked up shifts is not in question and the motives of those folks to help is 100% right, no issues at all. No criticism whatsoever.

However, I have asked Phil, our rota manager, to have a look and see if we can “share” the privilege of supporting the NHS more evenly amongst all of our volunteers.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, no-one take this the wrong way, the sharing of the workload is absolutely NOT a criticism of those who have booked. No-one has block booked anything, no-one has been “grabbing” shifts and those booking have spaced out their commitments sensibly. But we are still left with the situation that around 75% of the group are not able to share the good feelings we all get of being able to help the NHS at this time.

So, if Phil gets in touch and asks you to drop a weekday, day shift so that others can share the workload, please do not give him a hard time. We are all in the Blood Bike group to help, more so than ever at this time and I think we all get a huge degree of satisfaction in doing what we do. AND, as said, this is NOT a criticism of the willingness of people to get stuck in.

Please, no-one feel put out or aggrieved. We are the victims of our own enthusiasm to help.

We are responding quickly to the rapidly changing needs of the NHS teams, and such inconveniencies as the shift booking just need a little smoothing out so we can all take part and be proud of being able to participate in the solutions at this time. If you are one of the group who would like to be able support by taking a day shift at some point in the coming weeks please get in touch with Phil Palmer (rota@lrbloodbikes.org.uk) and he’ll try and do a bit of juggling.

Thanks all
Ollie
(Group Chairman)


Corona Virus – Update 5th April 2020

Hello all

As in previous updates, we continue to listen to the advice of those guiding us. We continue to do our work, albeit our work is unpaid.
Two areas of key importance:
(a) Do not be in close proximity of others at work (in labs and hospital areas etc), guidelines are 2 metre separation. If lifts are busy at hospital locations – use the stairs.
(b) Keep hands washed before, during and after work as well as following other specific job related cleanliness procedures

Jonathan, our Operations Manager, has been spending a lot of time talking with the hospital teams, to assure them we are here to help. Those discussions now mean we need to take the next step to further our support to the NHS teams as they push to deal with work overload due to Covid-19 cases. The below summarises these next steps, please take a coffee, or the like, and have read through.

PLEASE NOTE THE NHS ARE IN A STATE OF CONSTANT REVIEW AND CHANGE, WE NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE AND PATIENT AS THEY MOVE FROM ONE DECISION TO THE NEXT IN THEIR PLANNING TO DEAL WITH THE WORKLOAD. THE BELOW DETAILS WILL UNDOUBTEDLY CHANGE.

  1. We’ll start group weekday day-time shifts.
    From this week we are opening up the self-booking system for all our volunteers to book themselves a day-time shift. Same process as usual.Should be open in next 24 hours.
    Please do not book a day and night shift back to back. It might feel it makes sense BUT we do not know how busy a day shift or night shift will be and we do not want a situation where our volunteers increase risk of adverse in 
  2. The weekday and weekend day shifts will now include an early morning pick-up (7.30am weekdays, 8.30am Saturday and Sunday) of Covid-19 samples from LRI level 5 OR possibly level 4. Details to be confirmed.
    Delivery to Microbiology at the Queens medical centre (QMC) in Nottingham.
    THIS MEANS ALL DAY SHIFTS AT WEEKENDS NOW NEED TO BE IN THE VAN IN ORDER TO FACILITATE HYGIENE PROTOCOLS AND TO ENABLE SAFE TRANSPORT OF THE BOX TO QMC. The box might be less robust than the traditional blood box we know.
    As of today the new day time shift will be quiet, with only the QMC run needed. However, we expect more needs to come.
    PLEASE do not get too frustrated in the early days when you have booked a day-time shift and very little happens. We believe it will happen but just not sure when the needs will pick up. 
  3. The Friday afternoon team is suspended until further notice and the occasions where Loughborough hospital need support the day-time shift volunteer will cover this 
  4. We’ll have our controllers also allocated to the day-time shifts
    The same process of NHS contacting us through our controller team remains.
    Please continue to liaise with controllers for vehicle booking / vehicle allocation 
  5. Jonathan has been talking to REFLEX, the provider of one of our vans.
    Fantastically REFELX are willing to loan us an additional van if we find we need one depending on workload in the coming weeks/ months. 
  6. Air Ambulance runs remain suspended as Walsgrave hospital staff are allocated to the Covid-19 workload 
  7. Pharmaceutical team – movement of pharmacy products from LRI main stocks to other hospitals or NHS outlets. We await their needs and details of what we need to move and from where to where. 
  8. NHS Blood Transfusion (NHSBT) Service traditionally move their stocks to and from regional centres to and from hospitals using full time NHSBT employee drivers. As they lose some staff due to illness they are becoming stretched. NHSBT continue to discuss with NABB to look at how the blood bike groups might best support NHSBT in the coming weeks / months. 
  9. NHS are considering using Blood Bike groups to deliver Covid-19 test kits to prisons and subsequently picking up samples for delivery to NHS test centres. We have not heard any more about this. Discussions and NHS plans are still being formulated. 
  10. Fuel cost support from BP: Our best understanding at present is that BP will issue groups with vehicle fuel cards but the detailed process is being sorted by BP and NABB (on behalf of the 38 or so Blood Bike Groups). We await details 
  11. We’ll formalise the back up night time volunteer list. This, for now, will be called into action only if we have a call to Sheffield or Addenbrookes so that the night time shift volunteer is available for local runs and the 05h00 pick up of Covid-19 samples from Glenfield.
    For now, back up volunteers will be allocated on a rolling basis from the list of those who have put their names forward.
    NOTE – THE CHANCE OF YOU BEING NEEDED AS BACK UP NIGHT TIME VOLUNTEER IS SMALL AT THE MOMENT. I ESTIMATE LESS THAN 10% OF NIGHT SHIFTS WILL NEED TO USE THE BACK UP VOLUNTEER.
    We anticipate the back-up volunteer will only pick up a vehicle if they are called on for a run out. 
  12. We have new volunteers offering to join the group, we are looking at best way to get them trained via online channels in order that any new volunteer understands the safe way of working, vehicle checks etc.

I hope that makes some sense.  If any doubts contact me
With day to day shift work and vehicles liaise with the controllers, as we are doing already.

Keep safe all
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


1ST April 2020
Operations Update

Hello all LRBB Members

As you know, we have recently been working hard to put in place a system for the collection and delivery of Covid-19 samples between the Glenfield hospital and LRI, in order to provide suitable hygiene facilities for the drivers. As a part of this process we are only using the vans on the night shift as we can carry sanitiser, wipes, gloves, clinical waste sacks and from the 30th March soap and water, which will compliment the hand washing and sanitising stations at the hospitals. Combined with this we have implemented a hand washing protocol, with laminated copies in each van. Do please take time to read and familiarise yourselves with this when you are on a night shift.

I am in constant dialogue with the microbiology team to ensure that we are fully updated on any changes and or enhancements we may need to make and our protocol, collection and delivery routes are currently being reviewed by the infection protection team.

The service is now operational and to date has been running very well. May I say a big thank you to the fleet team; Chris Rollestone and Les Congdon who have been tireless in maintaining both the vans and the fleet bikes to keep them fully operational at this critical time for the NHS. Thanks to, to our controllers and shift drivers, who have all been very diligent in the delivery of this new service.

The back up rider / driver rota will go live shortly. This will mean that in the event of an increased demand on our service we can cover the standard pathology, Addenbrookes and Sheffield runs, whilst maintaining the fixed time slot for the Covid run. Thank you to all of you who have volunteered for the rota and we will update you again shortly.

Please, if you have any questions, either email or call me on 07714 863736.

Stay safe and well
Kind regards
Jonathan Bostock
Operations Manager

 


31st March 2020
LRBB – Donations from Amazon Purchases 0.5%

Hello all group members,
A reminder of how we can harness Amazon purchases to supsport the group.

All people using Amazon can now allocate 0.5% of their spend to our charity, Leicestershire and Rutland Blood Bikes. 

When doing this the cost of the items being bought does not change, just Amazon donate 0.5% to our group.

All you need to do when making an Amazon purchase is use this link
https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1163921-0

It takes you to their “Amazon Smile” page, you select our group from the search box and then you shop at amazon as you usually do.

Remember, doing this costs you no more than not doing it and if you do it then we get 0.5% of the value of the item you buy.

So, good people who use Amazon, make a note of the link or keep this mail handy and help generate a little more income for our group

Ollie Cufflin  (Group Chairman)


Corona Virus – Update 31st March 2020

Hello all

The “lock in” most of us are experiencing is almost business as usual, even these are very far from usual time. For our Blood Bike group this is the overview from the Chairman’s vantage point

As in previous updates, we continue to listen to the advice of those guiding us. In specific terms we continue to do our work, albeit our work is unpaid.

Two main area of key importance
(a) Do not be in close proximity of others at work, guidelines are 2 metre separation
(b) Keep hands washed before, during and after work as well as following other specific job related cleanliness procedures

Our usual pathology lab transport work is slowing down. We believe this is due to hospital departments revamping for what they consider will be a large increase with Covid-19 patient care which they believe WILL come in the next few weeks / month. This gives us the slightly false impression that nothing is happening. The phrase “lull before the storm” might be apt. We feel frustrated for now that we want to help but no work being asked for but we need to prepare for what might be busy.

While not much is happening in terms of further new transport needs there are 4 things that we are aware of that are under review currently by the NHS teams as they work out how best the Blood Bike group(s) can support them more in the coming days

1. Pharmaceutical team – movement of pharmacy products from LRI main stocks to other hospitals or NHS outlets. We await their needs and details of what we need to move and from where to where.

2. NHS Blood Transfusion (NHSBT) Service traditionally move their stocks to and from regional centres to and from hospitals using full time NHS employee drivers. As they lose some staff due to illness they are becoming stretched. NHSBT are in discussion with NABB to look at how the blood bike groups might best support NHSBT in the coming weeks / months.

3. NHS are looking to possibly utilise Blood Bike groups to deliver Covid-19 test kits to prisons and subsequently pick up samples for delivery to NHS test centres

4. Local centres, eg LRI, becoming a regional test centre for cases in the surrounding counties needing support in samples collection and delivery

All of these things are examples how the NHS is looking to prepare for the coming increase in Covid-19 work. As yet, we make the NHS teams aware we are ready to help and we await details of how we might actually turn to actual practical help.

Other ongoing activities

  1. Fuel cost support from BP: The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) are setting up the “systems” needed for us and other blood bike groups to get fuel paid for group vehicles.Please do NOT just turn up at a BP garage and say we get free fuel.
    Our best understanding at present is that BP will issue groups with vehicle fuel cards but the detailed process is being sorted by BP and NABB (on behalf of the 38 or so Blood Bike Groups). 
  2. As a group we are now collecting daily samples from Glenfield Clinical Decisions Unit at 04h00. This is going well from our viewpoint and the hygiene protocols are working. If in any doubts or you have any queries please speak to our Operations Manager Jonathan Bostock 07714 863 736 or via emailoperations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk  
  3. Our back up volunteer ‘process’ will come shortly.BUT . . .thus far back up volunteer is not needed but we’ll continue to make preparations. Watch this space – coming soon. 
  4. We have had a number of new volunteers offering to join the group, we are looking at best way to get them trained via online channels in order that any new volunteer understands the safe way of working, vehicle checks etc.

I know we are all keen to jump in and help and we feel a little frustrated, sadly I fear this current situation is with us for many weeks even months, so I am sure all of us will soon be able to feel more fully utilised once some of the new transport streams start to work

Keep safe all
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


27th March 2020
EBAY SELLING

Hello all Leicestershire and Rutland Blood Bike members,

A reminder that we are registered as a charity with Ebay so that anyone selling any items can make a donation to our group based on the sale price of their item.\

In these times of no fund raising in parallel to perhaps people clearing out cupboards etc and putting stuff on EBay . . . . . . . .

If you are an Ebay seller and would like to donate some of proceeds to the group then next time you list an item tick the box to donate a % of your sale and then search for ‘Leicestershire and Rutland Blood Bikes’ from the list of charities. Click our charity and the % you want to donate will automatically get sent to us if your item sells successfully.

You do not need to be a Blood Bike group member to do this, any Ebay seller so that anyone can also consider doing this to help the support of our group operations.

Feel free to pass this mail onto friends or family that you know sell on Ebay

Thanks all

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


25th March 2020 Air Ambulance Shifts Cancelled Until Further Notice

A reminder that all Air Ambulance regular shifts have been cancelled until further notice.

Walsgrave Hospital are moving all their teams onto work related to the Covid-19 pandemic and away from preparation of fluids for the Air Ambulance to carry.

All the shift bookings have been removed from our rota and showing on the rota now should be a “no shift” note.

When Walsgrave Hospital re-instate the fluids preparation we will ask our group to re-book shifts but it is anticipated this is going to be some considerable time into the future. Date is not known but could be months away.

There might be some ad-hoc transport needs for the Air Ambulance teams. If this happens we’ll put a ‘shout out’ up for the group.   We have assured the Air Ambulance team we are here to help and if they think we could assist them they will for sure ask us.

Keep safe all

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


Corona Virus – Update 25th March 2020

For this Covid-19 ‘update’ I’ll cover just the main topics that are developing, most of the information remains as per the last updates.

  1. We have now started the regular 4am collection of samples from the Clinical Decisions Unit (CDU) at Glenfield hospital.Details of how to manage cleanliness are in the document OP016 and details are in the vans.We will need to fine tune the process I am sure so please be patient as we align with potential changing needs or protocols
    If in any doubts, or anything you think needs enhancement please contact Jonathan Bostock on 07714 863736 or via operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk 
  2. Fuel cost support from BP: The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) are setting up the “systems” needed for us and other blood bike groups to get fuel paid for group vehicles.Please do NOT just turn up at a BP garage and say we get free fuel.
    We understand BP will issue groups with vehicle fuel cards but the detailed process is being sorted by BP and NABB (on behalf of the 38 or so Blood Bike Groups). This is great news obviously and as soon as we know how it works we’ll share the information 
  3. NHS asking for volunteers: Most of us will have seen the media “shout” from the NHS for volunteers.As a group we continue to offer our support to the NHS teams and at present particularly with the pharmacy team covering Leicestershire and Rutland hospitals.
    I know only too well how frustrating this feels when we are here to help with their transport needs and we are waiting for them to instruct us how best to help them. We will keep in touch and as soon as we can get moving we will do so. 
  4. We now have a back up rider list formalised, I’ll share the link on our group web site later so you can check you are on it if you are willing to be a back up rider. Jonathan will then share the way in which we’ll try and utilise back up rider and share that, again hopefully later today

More to come as things develop

I know we are all keen to jump in and help and we feel a little frustrated not to be able to do more right now.  Sadly I fear this current situation is with us for many weeks even months, so I am sure all of us will soon be able to feel more fully utilised once some of the new transport streams start to work

Keep safe all
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


Corona Virus – Update 23rd March 2020

The situation surrounding the Covid-19 virus (“Corona”) continues to develop and of course we continue to monitor the unfolding news and guidance. Please do take time to read through this and if in any doubt or any question please get in touch with myself or Jonathan Bostock specifically related to the collection of samples from the Glenfield (details below)

Our main points of advice remain specifically related to our work are the local hospital authorities, the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB), the Milk Bank team in Birmingham and the Air Ambulance team / Walsgrave hospital.

High level government advice remains that people should avoid social situations (pubs / clubs / restaurants / parties) and we have seen the government guidelines ramped up to drive the closure of such places where the public might gather.

The government has not yet banned work as such and unless showing symptoms of the virus or self-isolating then to continue with work as usual but where possible from home. We are not paid employees of the teams we support but we do carry out work activities for them. So, we will continue to do our work taking all sensible precautions in line with the advice for hand cleanliness and avoiding close proximity with other people.

We are still very much ‘open for business’ in the support of our hospital and Air Ambulance teams. However, we are now going to make two specific changes in response to the unfolding virus situation as highlighted below.  THESE CHANGES IMPACT ALL ACTIVE VOLUNTEERS.

  1. We are going to ask that all volunteers offering to take the regular hospital night shift only use one of the vans to carry out the shift. As we carry out night time support we need to ensure that the maximum hand cleanliness options are in place. We have put into the vans hand cleansing materials and latex gloves in particular related to item 2 below
    This may cause some volunteers some inconvenience so please be prepared for that. The whole situation is inconvenient but by switching to usage of vans for night shifts we enable all of us to maximise our ability for hand washing and usage of gloves
  2. At 4am each morning, 7 days per week, we are going to collect a closed box of samples from the Glenfield CDU (‘clinical decisions unit’), this is what many might remember as the “flu runs” carried out over some winter months. This is alongside any normal call outs we get as part of a regular night shift
    The box will contain samples from persons who might be carrying the Covid-19 virus. This is in response to our NHS micro-biology team who are needing to ramp up their testing to include lab opening times outside of their normal day time activities.
    Jonathan Bostock and myself have spent many hours discussing with the hospital team and tonight we will carry out our 4th trial run to make sure our proposed procedures for hand cleanliness are fully workable.
    In discussing with the hospitals our key criteria has been that we are not expecting our volunteers to do things that expose them to unnecessary risks without properly thought out procedures. To this end please note especially
    (a) we will NOT be going onto the wards where patient care is taking place
    (b) we will NOT be meeting up with staff working on the ward carrying out patient care
    (c) we will NOT be needing to be in close proximity to any members of staff or the public
    (d) we ARE providing specific hand cleansing facilities in the vans along with latex gloves and medical waste bags
    (e) no volunteers who feel they would prefer not to undertake night shifts because of this pick up are under no obligation to do so. We have weekend day shifts still to be covered along with Air Ambulance shifts.
    (f) Jonathan will share a detailed protocol / process for the pick up from CDU and possible return of an empty box. No-one in the group should not be sure of how to ensure hand cleanliness or how to carry out the 4am pick up.

In general, much of what we do remains as previously:

The advice for self-isolation – if you think you have been in contact with the virus or show symptoms then do not book shifts or swap shifts as needed during your period of isolation.
Likewise, if you consider you in the “high risk” group with possible lower immune systems then please do not book shifts so limiting your own exposure.

Samples from patients suspected of possible infection with Covid-19 will come from Glenfield CDU and not general pathology labs

There are many in our society stepping up to help people who need help and putting themselves out in these very strange times. We would like to make sure the Blood Bike group can extend help where it is requested whilst in parallel taking all sensible precautions.

The Air Ambulance runs are continuing for now BUT it is possible that the hospital at Walsgrave divert all staff to work with issues related to the virus pandemic. This is just a potential scenario that we are aware is under discussion.  We are expecting an update from them today or tomorrow.
The Air Ambulance teams greatly value what we do and have even commented they are exploring ways to financially support us when they appreciate our fund raising is coming to an almost zero situation. More news in due course

Our planned supporters’ meeting on 26th March will be rescheduled as appropriate. Likewise, we’ll cancel the organised social nights and re-introduce them as appropriate in line with advice related to social gatherings.

As shared previously we have decided that where other groups or events had asked us to join them for fund raising or a presentation then we will cancel our attendance. In all cases so far coming up in the near future the organisers themselves have cancelled. In the longer term, cancellations will make a large impact to fund raising. We will monitor this and consider other options.

Jonathan is collating our formal back up volunteer list.  Details of how we might use this coming in the next day or so. If you want to be part of that please email  operations@lrbloodbikes.org.uk

Thanks for continuing support of the group, we might need to continue to alter some processes and procedures which might not suit everyone but we would do so as needed to keep up our support to NHS and also keep our volunteers out of additional harms way. I would add that our hospital teams are immensely grateful for our volunteer work and assists them in their own work as they are stepping up in the face of the pandemic.

If you have any specific concern please feel free to get in touch with me.
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


Corona Virus – Update 21st March 2020

Thanks to those group members who have sent me messages along the lines of “how can we help more” or “what can our group do to help the NHS over and above what we are currently doing”. I know these are worrying times for us all with family members in higher risk brackets or even ourselves falling into that category. 

Please take time to read this update, it is a little longer than the previous ones but I am trying to capture the ever evolving situation for our group and the NHS teams we are supporting.

We continue to monitor the unfolding news related to the Corona Virus and the different actions being taken along with updated advice from UK government bodies.
As of this morning we continue to operate our Blood Bike group pickup and deliveries as usual. We, as before, continue to listen to the advice from the experts and are ready to take further actions as appropriate.

Our main points of advice specifically related to our work are the local hospital authorities, the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB), the Milk Bank team in Birmingham and the Air Ambulance team / Walsgrave hospital.

High level government advice remains that people should avoid social situations (pubs / clubs / restaurants / parties) and we have seen the government guidelines ramped up to drive the closure of such places where the public might gather.

The government has not yet banned work as such and unless showing symptoms of the virus or self-isolating then to continue with work as usual but where possible from home. We are not paid employees of the teams we support but we do carry out work activities for them. So, we will continue to do our work taking all sensible precautions in line with the advice for hand cleanliness and avoiding close proximity with others.

The advice for self-isolation remains – if you think you have been in contact with the virus or show symptoms then do not book shifts or swap shifts as needed during your period of isolation.
Likewise, if you consider you in the “high risk” group with possible lower immune systems then please do not book shifts so limiting your own exposure.

Information related to corona virus samples for testing remains as yesterday. It is understood from hospital teams that patients who are suspected of having the virus are dealt with via the micro-biology teams, whereas we are currently moving samples within the pathology departments. So, as far as we know we are not. 

We have spent many hours this week talking with hospital lab teams looking at potential for a 4am daily pick up of additional samples from Glenfield – what some might remember as the “flu runs”. The labs are very strained with testing and are seeking some additional help from us with transportation of samples from patients who may be infected with the Covid-19 virus

We have conducted a trial run this morning at 4am and will do another trial tomorrow morning to see if the procedures considered to keep us safe are practical – using gloves, hand wash, santiser etc and not being asked to go to any patient area or wards and not to have to be in close proximity to any members of staff. We are also considering switching to van only usage for night shifts so that additional hand cleansing facilities, gloves etc can be located in the back of the vans.

More information in next 1-2 days. Suffice to say we want to help the NHS as the NHS tries to help those people who are unwell, including people who might be our friends and family members. BUT – we are not prepared to put volunteers into high risk situations. In addition, if we start the 4am picks ups we do not expect any our or team to undertake the run who considers that they are not in a position to do so.  

There are many in our society stepping up to help people who need help and putting themselves out in these very strange times. We would like to make sure the Blood Bike group can extend help where it is requested whilst in parallel taking all sensible precautions.

The Air Ambulance runs are continuing for now BUT it is possible that the hospital at Walsgrave divert all staff to work with issues related to the virus pandemic. This is just a potential scenario that we are aware is under discussion.  The Air Ambulance teams greatly value what we do and have even commented they are exploring ways to financially support us when they appreciate our fund raising is coming to an almost zero situation. More news

Our planned supporters’ meeting on 26th March will be rescheduled as appropriate. Likewise, we’ll cancel the organised social nights and re-introduce them as appropriate in line with advice related to social gatherings.

As shared previously we have decided that where other groups or events had asked us to join them for fund raising or a presentation then we will cancel our attendance. In all cases so far coming up in the near future the organisers themselves have cancelled. In the longer term, cancellations will make a large impact to fund raising. We will monitor this and consider other options.

Jonathan will send out in next 1-2 days a request for people willing to be on a back up list.  We have not yet formalised a back up process as this was something under discussion, however now we’d like to try and see if it is possible to have a back up rider / driver as the situation around us develops.

More in next 1-2 days as events unfold. Thanks for supporting the group, we might need to alter some processes and procedures, or use vans more which might not suit everyone but we would do so as needed to keep up our support to NHS and also keep our volunteers out of additional harms way.

If you have any specific concern please feel free to get in touch with me.
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


Corona Virus – Update 19th March 2020

We continue to monitor the unfolding news related to the Corona Virus and the different actions being taken along with updated advice from UK government bodies.

As of this morning we continue to operate our Blood Bike group pickup and deliveries as usual. We, as before, continue to listen to the advice from the experts and are ready to take further actions as appropriate.

Our main points of advice specifically related to our work are the local hospital authorities, the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB), the Milk Bank team in Birmingham and the Air Ambulance team / Walsgrave hospital.

High level government advice remains that people should avoid social situations (pubs / clubs / restaurants / parties) where possible. Unless showing symptoms of the virus or self-isolating then to continue with work, where possible from home. We are not paid employees of the teams we support but we do carry out work activities for them. So, we will continue to do our work taking all sensible precautions in line with the advice for hand cleanliness and avoiding close proximity with others.

The advice for self-isolation remains – if you think you have been in contact with the virus or show symptoms then do not book shifts or swap shifts as needed during your period of isolation.
Likewise, if you consider you in the “high risk” group with possible lower immune systems then please do not book shifts so limiting your own exposure.

Information related to corona virus samples for testing remains as shared in the last post. It is understood from hospital teams that patients who are suspected of having the virus are dealt with via the micro-biology teams, whereas we are currently moving samples within the pathology departments. So, as far as we know we are not. 

The micro-biology team are discussing with us the options for nightly support in movement of corona virus samples. This might entail some potential additional precautions. As of now we are not supporting the micro-biology teams with the movement of samples potentially linked to the corona virus. I’ll update the group as soon as anything develops.

Our planned supporters’ meeting on 26th March will be rescheduled as appropriate. Likewise, we’ll cancel the organised social nights and re-introduce them as appropriate in line with advice related to social gatherings.

We have decided that where other groups or events had asked us to join them for fund raising or a presentation then we will cancel our attendance. In all cases so far coming up in the near future the organisers themselves have cancelled. In the longer term, cancellations will make a large impact to fund raising. We will monitor this and consider other options.

We are looking to source hand cleansing options for retention in our vehicles / panniers but for now hand cleansing needs to be completed using materials at the locations to which we go. In addition, we are planning to get latex gloves in vehicles for use by our volunteers. More news as soon as we source the items – which as we might know is proving difficult

If you have any specific concern please feel free to get in touch with me.

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


Corona Virus – Update 17th March 2020

We continue to see the unfolding news from the UK and around the world about the impact of the Corona Virus and the different actions being taken along with updated advice from UK government bodies

As of this morning we continue to operate our Blood Bike group activities as usual. We continue to listen to the advice from the experts and are ready to take further actions as appropriate.

Our main points of advice specifically related to our work are the local hospital authorities, the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB), the Milk Bank team in Birmingham and the Air Ambulance team / Walsgrave hospital.

Government advice in the last 24 hours is that people should avoid social situations where possible. Unless showing symptoms of the virus or self-isolating then to continue with work. We are not paid employees of the teams we support but we do carry out work activities for them. So, for now at least, we will continue to do our work taking all sensible precautions in line with the advice for hand cleanliness and avoiding close proximity with others.

The advice for self-isolation logically also applies to our work and if you think you have been in contact with the virus or show symptoms then do not book shifts or swap shifts as needed during your period of isolation.

I have been asked whether we are already carrying samples linked to the corona virus infection. It is understood from hospital teams that patients who are suspected of having the virus are dealt with via the micro-biology teams, whereas we are currently moving samples within the pathology departments. So, as far as we know we are not.  However, the micro-biology team are now asking for possible support in movement of corona virus samples. This might entail some potential additional precautions so we are not at present supporting the micro-biology teams with the movement of samples potentially linked to the corona virus. I’ll update the group as soon as anything develops.

We will postpone our planned supporters’ meeting on 26th March and reschedule as appropriate. Likewise, we’ll cancel the organised social nights and re-introduce them as appropriate in line with advice related to social gatherings.

So, for now, we continue our normal practices but as needed we will update our working processes as advised or recommended.

If you have any specific concern please feel free to get in touch with me.
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


Corona Virus – Update 15th March 2020

We continue to see the unfolding news from the UK and around the world about the impact of the Corona Virus and the different actions being taken in various locations.

Following on from our group update a few days ago, as of 15th March, we continue to operate our Blood Bike group activities as usual. We continue to listen to the advice from the experts and are ready to take actions as appropriate.

Our main points of advice specifically related to our work are the local hospital authorities, the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB), the Milk Bank team in Birmingham and the Air Ambulance team / Walsgrave hospital.

We see government advice unfolding and watch that, but at present the hospital authorities have not advised that we need to take any additional precautions. As before, hand cleanliness is as apt as ever and usage of hand sanitisers should be ‘business as usual’ for us. If you are not a regular user of the hand sanitisers at the hospitals please take action to use the sanitiser points.

We have a planned supporters’ meeting on 26th March. At present information does not advise against such gatherings but we are watching the situation developing and will take a view on whether to postpone the meeting during this coming week.

So, for now, we continue our normal practices but as needed we will update our working processes as advised or recommended.

If you have any specific concern please feel free to get in touch with me.
Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


13th March 2020
Corona Virus – Update

We are all seeing the news from the UK and around the world about the impact of the Corona Virus and the different actions being taken in various locations.

At this point, 13th March, we continue to operate our Blood Bike group activities as usual. However, it is appropriate we take stock of the developments with the virus and advice from the various authorities and take actions as needed.

Our main points of advice specifically related to our work are the local hospital authorities and the Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB). In addition, I am asking for any advice related to possible changes in activities recommended by Milk Bank team in Birmingham and the Air Ambulance team / Walsgrave hospital.

At present the hospital authorities have not advised that we need to take any additional precautions. The usual advice for hand cleanliness is as apt as ever and usage of hand sanitisers should be ‘business as usual’ for us. If you are not a regular user of the hand sanitisers in the hospital premises please take action to use the sanitiser points.

NABB also have no special advice at present about additional precautions we need to take over and above regular working practices, but they also point out that hand cleanliness is as important as ever so remind us that we should be doing this in line with good working practice in hospitals.

So, for now, we continue our normal practices but as needed we will update our working processes as advised or recommended.

If you have any specific concern please feel free to get in touch with me.

Ollie Cufflin
(Group Chairman)


Feb 20th
AVON TYRES

Hello all LRBB Members

We have some very exciting news about recent funding received by the group.

Avon Tyres has chosen to support us with free tyres for all of the fleet motorbikes and the Reflex van. Their support is initially for one year, which equates to somewhere between £1,000 to £2,000, depending upon tyre wear and use throughout 2020.

In addition to this we have received £1,000 from ACRC, £575 from our fundraiser at Leicester Tigers and a further £850 from Andrew Granger & Co, which they have specifically provided to cover the cost of our fleet trackers.

These tremendous sums of money are fantastic news for the group and have given us a strong start to 2020. As Ollie noted, it is testament to the hard work you do volunteering for shifts, controlling, admin, fleet maintenance and events, as all deliver a service to the hospitals and Air Ambulance teams that the public and businesses value and want to support.

Thank you
Kind regards

Jonathan Bostock
Vice Chairman


15th Jan 2020
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP

Hello all LRBB Members

A reminder that the Annual Membership Renewals fell due on 1st January 2020. The annual cost is £12.00.
Payment can either be a cheque made out in full to Leicestershire and Rutland Blood Bikes or via The PayPal giving fund (our reference number is 1110538) or directly into our Nat West bank account, Sort code 54-21-50 Account number 37244787

Also due are the Licence checks, for which I will require a picture of the front and back of your licence, together with a copy of the DVLA Driver Summary sheet. This information can be emailed to me (supporters@lrbloodbikes.org.uk).

New ID Cards will be produced on receipt of all the requested information. Should you wish to change your current ID photo, please email me the new photo (head and shoulders).

The National Association of Blood Bikes require all Blood Bike riders to hold a current Advanced Qualification. This can be either ERS, IAM ROADSMART or ROSPA. These qualifications remain current from your pass date, for three years. I would be obliged if you could check your current status. We currently have the Shires Training Centre offering a subsidised ERS course whilst funds are available from the Road Safety Partnership.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries regarding the above

Many thanks
Kind regards

Paul Bivins


3rd Jan 2020
LRBB – Donations from Amazon Purchases 0.5%

Hello all group members,

Wishing you all a very peaceful and safe 2020 whatever is in store for you!

Starting the new year with some news related to donations from Amazon.   All people using Amazon can now allocate 0.5% of their spend to our charity, Leicestershire and Rutland Blood Bikes. 

When doing this the cost of the items being bought does not change, just Amazon donate 0.5% to our group.

All you need to do when making an Amazon purchase is use this link
https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1163921-0

It takes you to their “Amazon Smile” page, you select our group from the search box and then you shop at amazon as you usually do.

Remember, doing this costs you no more than not doing it and if you do it then we get 0.5% of the value of the item you buy.

So, good people who use Amazon, make a note of the link or keep this mail handy and help generate a little more income for our group

More news in due course, thanks to all for getting the rota ticking over nicely !  The number of pleas is not down to virtually zero, so a fine team effort all.

Ollie Cufflin  (Group Chairman)