DID YOU KNOW??? - 1 in 10 patients in hospital require blood! - This is where we come in and help.
SERV Sussex is a registered charity (No. 284455), formed in 1981. As a charity, SERV Sussex provides a free, rapid and reliable means of transporting emergency blood products, X-rays, patient notes, time-critical laboratory samples and test results to hospitals and medical facilities at night, on request. We currently serve St. Richard's (Chichester), Worthing General, Royal Sussex County (Brighton), Royal Alexandra Children's (Brighton), Princess Royal (Haywards Heath), Eastbourne DGH and The Conquest (Hastings). Male and female SERV volunteers from all walks of life are long-serving (average 5-10 years, longest 20 years), and range from 21-75years. SERV Sussex supports the population regardless of race, gender, disability or sexual preference, providing an exceptional, FREE daily service (24hrs on bank holidays) using their private motorcycles and cars.
SERV volunteers are on call from 7pm till 6am 365 nights a year. Requests are received via telephone from hospitals in need of blood or blood products by a SERV controller. They then liase with other SERV regions, the National Blood service and volunteer riders or drivers to get the required items collected and delivered in as efficient a manner as possible. In 2016 SERV Sussex were asked to make almost 1150 deliveries to hospitals as far afield as Hastings in the east of the county to Chichester in the west. The blood and blood products delivered usually originate from the National Blood Service in Tooting London but we also transfer samples to London, and between Sussex Hospital Trusts, on request. In addition, we have expanded our human milk transport service, now providing daily support to milk banks at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust), Princess Royal Hospital in Orpington, and the Trevor Mann Neonatal Unit in Brighton. We are the only local charity to collect human infant milk from donors in Sussex, Surrey and London at pre-arranged times and deliver to the milk banks in the South-East. We also deliver treated milk to mothers at their homes if they need donor milk and cannot make it to the hospital to collect the supplies. Donated breast milk helps babies in need to get the best start in life and is the ideal food for babies. It contains all the nutrients (at least 400) that a baby needs and contains hormones and disease-fighting compounds which cannot be found in formula milk. In addition, giving breast milk to premature babies protects them against a life-threatening gut infection, necrotising enterocolitis, and helps their development in the long term. The national human milk banking service is not financed by government funds (http://www.ukamb.org/yourmilkbank.html) and SERV Sussex are proud to help support this vital service.
Every member of SERV Sussex is a volunteer. They give their time for free and (unless they are using a fleet vehicle) pay for the fuel and running costs of their vehicle from their own pocket. Nonetheless SERV Sussex does need donations to;
- Keep fleet vehicles fueled and maintained
- Replace aging vehicles
- Pay for the communications infrastructure needed to service incoming requests from hospitals
- Subsidise safety equipment for riders / drivers
- Raise awareness of the service the charity offers to general public and NHS