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Vocare steps in to help North East charity move around urgent blood samples and equipment out of hours

Press Release November 2016

Urgent care provider Vocare has stepped in to help Northumbria Blood Bikes in a bid to tackle the charity's problem of getting enough volunteers to handle incoming calls out of office hours.

Northumbria Blood Bikes, which is a charitable organisation established by local volunteers, delivers essential blood samples and urgent medical supplies, out of hours, between hospitals and healthcare sites and laboratories in North East England. The service covers Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.

Call handling

Vocare has partnered with the charity to help them overcome the difficulty they were experiencing answering calls from hospitals requiring delivery of urgent blood samples and medical equipment between the hours of 0100 and 0700 on weekdays. After specialist staff training, Vocare will take calls during these hours and relay them to the volunteer motorbike couriers.

John Harrison, CEO of the Vocare Group, said: "The connection with Northumbria Blood Bikes was first established when we saw them on Look North in early August talking about their challenge with volunteer call handling.

"After contacting their operations team we discovered we were able to help with this as we operate the same hours and have a team of call handlers already in place.

"We are currently training our staff to be able to respond to incoming calls. We are really delighted to be able to assist such a great charity that offers an important service that benefits patients in the North East".

Kirsty Lawrence from Northumbria Blood Bikes, said: "Without somebody manning our calls our riders and drivers would not be able to serve the North East. Although our recruitment drive and new training programme saw lots of new volunteers join as shift coordinators we still had some gaps in our rotas to be filled. The support we are receiving from Vocare means that we will have a fully covered service. Which in turn means that potential lives will be continued to be saved."