As a locally based charity, SERV Suffolk & Cambridgeshire (SERVSC) provides an essential service to five NHS hospitals in the region by transporting blood & blood products 365 nights of the year and all day at weekends and Bank Holidays. We also make a daily delivery to the MAGPAS Air Ambulance based at Wyton which is part of a trial to supply all the air ambulance charities in our region.
Since we started providing a vitally important service free of charge, we have carried out more than 5,000 delivery runs, which it is estimated to have saved the NHS approximately £300,000. This allows the NHS to divert funds where they are needed most.
SERVSC was launched in May 2011 with Ipswich Hospital closely followed by West Suffolk Hospital. We started delivering to Peterborough City Hospital, Papworth and Hinchingbrooke Hospitals in 2012.
In July 2012, SERVSC became a Charity in its own right. Still operating under the SERV brand, it enables the organisation to develop locally in the direction the volunteers and the NHS feel is most appropriate.
In August 2012, we proudly launched the Donor Baby Milk Service. This involves the collection and delivery of donated human breast milk used to support premature babies in the hospital maternity units of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and, when requested, throughout the UK.
Our membership consists of circa 100 dedicated volunteers who give their time and use their own vehicles free of charge. Local motorcyclists and car drivers volunteer to deliver urgently needed products to the hospitals, be it blood products, samples for testing or donated breast milk for premature babies. Each night we have seven riders/drivers available for duty and usually receive between two and seven calls. In addition, a duty controller will take the telephone calls from the hospitals and organise the duty volunteers to get the products to where they need to be.
SERV Suffolk and Cambridgeshire receives no government funding, its costs being met by donations from members of the public, local businesses, charitable grants and awards.