SERV – “Service by Emergency Response Volunteers” also known as The Bloodrunners is a charity that provides a 24/7 emergency courier services, transporting blood products, samples and other patient essential items for the major hospitals and hospices in Kent outside normal working hours.
SERV Kent volunteers provide their services free of charge, including fuel and phone expenses and consequently save the NHS thousands of pounds a year.
Without SERV Kent, deliveries would have to be made by other means, each of which have their own challenges:
- By courier or taxi, these have time, cost, reliability and suitability constraints.
- By police or ambulance, which takes a valuable and much-needed resource out of service.
- By NHS Blood and Transplant who make the daytime blood deliveries, but who may have limited chargeable availability at night and weekends.
In addition, they provide and maintain the blood supply for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance enabling them to carry blood on board therefore saving the lives of many patients.
In 2019, as part of its continued support of Blood Bikes nationally, the MBF approved a grant for £27,046 which allowed them to purchase a new state of the art estate car to compliment the amazing charitable work it carries out within the Kent, Sussex and SE London region. This vehicle travels to and from the blood bank at Tooting collecting/delivering urgent samples from the hospitals within Kent to the more specialised laboratories in the hospitals of Great Ormond Steet, St Thomas’, Guys etc. Additionally, SERV Kent operates a bulk run to this blood bank to feed into the Kent NHS hospitals.
SERV Kent’s Arthur Godden, seen above, with Peter Lapage – Provincial Grand Treasurer, recently contacted the us with an urgent financial request as critical mechanical repairs were needed to one their, otherwise roadworthy, vehicles to allow them to continue this important part of their work. The request was passed on to the KMBF who were able to act quickly and agree a grant of £3000 to allow SERV to keep the vehicle on the road.
Although the funds were promptly transferred electronically, the SERV Kent team wanted to express their gratitude in person and kindly invited KMBF Trustees and other members of the Province to attend their central base at Medway Services on the M2 to experience their work and facilities first hand.