Our Service Offering
SERV Herts and Beds delivers blood, blood products, samples, donated breast milk and other clinically urgent items every night and all day at the weekends free of charge to the NHS.
Our members have a variety of backgrounds, jobs and family circumstances and are trained to an approved standard to provide a professional service to our hospitals.
We are always looking for volunteer controllers, riders and drivers who can offer around 2 duties per month or more.
The controller is the single point of contact between the hospital and the rider or driver delivering the blood product. Controllers are on call from 19:00 until 07:00 during which they receive calls from the hospitals, hospices and other SERV groups. Based on the requirements they select one of the on-call volunteers to undertake the collection and delivery. The Controller would already have checked for any road closures and hold-ups. They will agree the route and estimate the times for collection, delivery and returning home. The Controller has a shared responsible for ensuring the safety of the rider/drivers.
SERV Herts & Beds also liaises with adjacent SERV groups and will meet them at agreed "Hand Over Points" for the onward transfer of patient samples, usually to Colindale.
The blood boxes are rated down to 2° C so during the winter it may not be possible to use a motorcyclist for the delivery.
The Controller is also responsible for updating the call log and ensuring proper records are kept.
Our Drivers and Riders
The volunteers are on call between 19:00 and 07:00 the next morning. Most volunteers will be on rota once or twice a month , but it is purely voluntary.
Prior to being placed on the rota, the volunteer would have attended training courses covering the proper handling of the blood product boxes, then out on the road with an instructor to learn the standard routes between the NHS Blood Centre in Colindale and the client hospitals.
When a call comes in from the Controller, they will be given the collection and delivery points, what is to be transported, a time the product will be ready for collection and whether it is Essential or Urgent. The rider and controller will agree a route. The rider/driver is responsible for their own safety and is expected to ensure their bike or car is in good condition, filled up with sufficient fuel for the run and that they are wearing the appropriate clothing.
The rider/driver is expected to carry a fully charged mobile phone which is used to contact the Controller when they have collected the product, when they have made delivery and when they have returned home. They would also use the phone to advise the Controller of problems.
There are normally 3 or 4 volunteers on call each night, including weekends, and usually they will only make one run per evening. However, on occasions, the volunteer may be requested to do a second run. A run can be between 30 and 100 miles and can take between 1 hour and 3 hours to complete.