Skip to content

Latest News

Ten years ago, today!

An unbroken marathon of life-saving service hit an amazing 10-year record today.

Northwest Blood Bikes delivery of vital NHS supplies has continued round-the-clock for ten years regardless of appalling weather, snarled traffic and back-to-back pandemic lockdowns.

Today’s stunning milestone means the riders have taken blood between hospitals across the North West and the southern Lakes on average at least once an hour, every hour, for over 3600 days. During a busy 12 hour shift the service can be called out over 70 times, or once every ten minutes.

The people who do it share two passions: a deeply held care for the NHS and a love of motorcycling.

What began as a “hard to fathom” offer of practical help, has become a key support service.  As well as saving countless lives, Northwest Blood Bikes Lancs and Lakes also saves NHS time and money.

Health trust transport bills for moving blood and other urgent supplies including donor breast milk, operating theatre equipment, platelets and tissue samples have been slashed by more than £10,000 each week since the service was formed in 2012.

The total £6.3 million that would have been spent on taxi and courier deliveries is now freed up for vital patient equipment and services.

Mark Entwistle, the chairman of the charity, said

“Although we are called Blood Bikes and this is the main priority of the work we do transporting blood between hospitals, the service we undertake has changed over the years.

In addition to transporting blood, we also deliver donor breast milk, medical samples, records, medicines, medical equipment or anything that is required urgently to improve the outcome for a patient or save their life.”

Maria Burn at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals was there at the outset. “When two guys walked in and spelled out how they wanted to help, it was hard to fathom how something we had paid so much for, over so many years, might now be done for nothing.

“But that is exactly what happened. Other hospitals were a little sceptical too, but when I explained how it had helped us they quickly got on board with it,” she said.

“The blood bikers are just phenomenal. There is a real difference between this charity and some others as there are no paid members of staff at all.”

Donations help keep the service running, and some generous donor groups have even funded the cost of purpose-built motorcycles to add to the Blood Bike fleet. Many riders simply use their own equipment and agree to work voluntary shifts for particular areas and times in order to maintain out of hours cover.

Controllers handle hospital requests, and the calls are then logged with riders dispatched to pick up blood from one location to deliver to hospitals across the North West.

Pressure on the service has grown in the past two years with Covid test results and specialist equipment to aid Covid patients moved by the blood bikers, but despite these challenges and the pandemic’s impact on volunteers and their families, service quality standards have been maintained throughout.

To commemorate this milestone, the charity plans to light Blackpool Tower tonight Thursday 12 May and many of the bikers and volunteers will be on the Tower Headland to celebrate their momentous achievements over the past ten years.

Mark Entwistle, added

“Our volunteers work long hours to make this possible and with over 450 volunteers, and over 300 bikers, we cover one of the largest areas in the country

If you are interested in volunteering as a biker, controller, or help with the fundraising events that they undertake to support the community of Lancashire and South Lakes, please visit their website:

Get in touch

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

Preston Road



01257 261222

Royal Preston Hospital

Sharoe Green Lane




01772 716565

LTHTR logo logo image
GIRFT Hub Accreditation Badge and RCS logo image
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity logo image
Baby Beat Appeal logo image
Rosemere Cancer Foundation logo image
BSL Logo logo image
Veteran Aware logo image
Accessable logo image
Sunflower Lanyard Scheme logo image
NHS Choices logo image
Website Feedback