Blood Bike volunteers delivering Covid fight devices to care homes

A life-saving charity will be stepping up its support for the fight against Covid-19 by delivering a supply of vital medical devices to care homes across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

 Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes supporters help with funding for the service in 2019
Shropshire and Staffordshire Blood Bikes supporters help with funding for the service in 2019

Volunteers with Shropshire Staffordshire Cheshire Blood Bikes usually transports blood to hospitals.

But this weekend a team of 21 riders and six controllers will cover the county over two days to ensure sure every care home receives at least one pulse oximeter which is used to check blood oxygen levels.

The devices have been provided by the NHS to help monitor the physical health of people in care homes who have Covid-19 symptoms or have tested positive by measuring their pulse and the level of oxygen in the blood.

This work will be carried out in addition to the riders and controllers who will be providing normal hospital cover.

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CGG) interim urgent care programmes boss Alison Massey said: “Learning from the first wave of the virus identified that blood oxygen levels are a good indicator of how poorly a person is.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support from the Blood Bike volunteers. Giving our care homes pulse oximeters will mean more people can be safely monitored in their home and the readings, which take seconds, can help a doctor or clinician to quickly assess if they are deteriorating and need to be admitted to hospital.”

The charity’s chairman Jeremy Cartwright said: “We provide a 100 per cent voluntary, 24/7 service for the NHS and closely related organisations across Shropshire, Staffordshire & Cheshire.

“Our charity is entirely donation funded and undertakes more than 5,000 free of charge urgent deliveries a year including of blood, donated breast milk, samples and transplant material. We are delighted to be able to support the Shropshire CCG in this time of need.

“Making coordinated deliveries to 160 care homes over two days is the largest single job we have undertaken so far and clearly demonstrates the professionalism our volunteers provide.”

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