Hessle’s NLG helps secure the future of Christmas newborn babies with support for Lincolnshire Blood Bikes Service

The future of newborn babies in Lincolnshire is more secure this Christmas thanks to support for Lincolnshire Emergency Blood Bikes Service (LEBBS) by NLG.

Stuart Harrison

LEBBS’ out-of-hours courier service transports essential medical items between hospitals and healthcare facilities in south and north Lincolnshire, including Boston, Grantham and Lincoln and in the north at Goole, Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

One key service the charity offers in the busy pre-Christmas period is a ‘heel prick’ blood spot sample service for newborn babies, where newborns’ blood samples are sent by bike and vehicle courier from Lincolnshire hospitals for testing at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Rob Brunswick, LEBBS NHS Liaison officer, who supervises the blood spot sample service, said: “At the end of play on 14th December, we had helped about 232 newborns. Over the six-week period from December 4th to the start of the second week of January, we expect the full figure to be between 750 and 800 new babies across the north and the south of the county.”

Stuart Harrison, Membership Manager at LEBBS, is one of the all-volunteer teams at the charity which relies solely on public donations to support its activities. Now retired after a career in the army and police, Stuart was also an IT software trainer at NLG and maintains close ties to the charity-focused Hessle health business.

 “When we went into NLG we were looking for support for our six-week pre-Christmas ‘heel prick’ baby blood spot sample service. Normally, these samples are sent in the post but in the run-up to Christmas the post can be delayed, so instead of using the mail the NHS trusts have turned to us to help them.

“But with fuel and running costs for the bikes and cars mounting ever higher, we have been looking to gain £1,000 in additional funding towards the total £1,350 for the six weeks, which NLG were able to meet in full.”

Mark Hathway, managing director of NLG, said: “As a business we are fully aware of the need to ensure that key health services are maintained at the highest quality level possible.

“Although a baby blood spot is a routine procedure, the test screens for a range of inherited and potentially life-threatening medical conditions, often before symptoms appear. This means that it is important to get the samples to a laboratory for analysis sooner rather than later.

“We are fortunate in being able to support Lincolnshire Emergency Blood Bikes Service with this essential service for newborns in Lincolnshire.”

An additional monthly level of support from NLG for LEBBS has also been agreed to help the charity buy a new events vehicle to carry things that just won’t fit on a motorbike, such as tables, chairs, gazebo and pull-up banners.

Stuart added: “When we are not using it as an events car, it can be used as a normal staff car allowing non-bike drivers to drive; this is especially important in the winter months when the bikes tend to be used less.”

As a completely free service funded by public donations alone, LEBBS’ mission is to save lives and save money for the NHS, while also promoting a positive image of motorcyclists. It has 135 member drivers,123 of whom are motorbike riders and who all have to undergo advanced rider skills and qualifications.

With a fleet of 11 bikes, ranging from a 1300CC Yamaha to a 650CC Kawasaki, the charity also has five cars, including a van and a trailer.

In addition to Lincolnshire Blood Bikes, NLG is active in supporting good causes and the charity sector, including the Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal (OPSA), the international children’s charity, and the Sheffield-based Support Dogs charity.

As one of the UK’s most highly accredited, framework-approved healthcare recruitment agencies and consultancies, NLG offers an extensive range of specialist services to the NHS, private healthcare institutions and healthcare professionals across the country.