December 21 2009.

'Blood runners' who volunteer their services will be on call over the Christmas period providing a little known service that can help to save thousands of lives. Blood runners respond to around 2,000 calls per year saving the Health Service on average £300,000.

These compassionate bike riders work on a rota, working one night in fourteen, waiting to respond to emergency calls to collect and securely deliver life-saving blood, using an insulated, medically approved bag.

Riders are on stand-by in many areas across the country including: Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Kent, Essex, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northants, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and London. The regions work in partnership to ensure an efficient system can deliver the blood as quickly as possible.

Over 16,000 blood runs have been carried out, since the charity started in 1981, in response to a demand for a quicker, cost-effective method of blood delivery that didn't divert other resources such as ambulances or waste money on expensive couriers.

If the blood needs to be delivered to a hospital in another county, the main rider will to go to the blood bank, whilst the office calls the duty coordinator of the county that covers the area the hospital is in. The coordinator then dispatches their duty rider from his/her home to a transfer point to await the arrival of the main rider. The riders always follow a set route to reduce any delays, in case of any breakdowns or other problems.

The demands on the charity increase every year and there is a need to spread the service across the country, but it is restricted by its ability to fund and maintain the service, The volunteers are ready to back the service, so now the charity needs to work to secure the funding.
This year there will be a full 24 hour service on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

Sheila Rainger MCI's Spokesperson said, " Motorcycles have an important part to play in saving lives. As well as being used by the Emergency services, these blood runners provide an essential service free of charge and often will little recognition.

"With help this service can grow and help to save more lives, save hospitals money as well as providing a quick and reliable means of transporting emergency blood at night.

Dean Wickham, SERV Chairman added "Without our dedicated volunteers we would not be able to supply this much needed service. Every member is an asset to this charity and are worth their weight in gold"!!

For more information about the charity and the work of the blood runners go to