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BSAVA ‘blood bikers’ help save human lives
Paul Spellman and Simon Grover with a blood motorcycle outside the BSAVA headquarters.

Paul Spellman and Simon Grover provide NHS courier service

Many veterinary professionals give up their free time to help sick and injured animals. But on top of long, demanding hours not many find time to offer their services to the human health profession.

BSAVA members Paul Spellman and Simon Grover regularly volunteer their time as ‘Blood Bikers' - advanced motorcyclists that deliver a free out-of-hours courier service to NHS hospitals and trusts.

Vet locum Paul became a blood biker with Bloodrun following complications with his own health in 2014. On a recent visit to BSAVA headquarters, he shared stories with membership services manager Simon, who volunteers with Severn Freewheelers.

“My interest in Blood Bikers was sparked by my own health problems in 2014, and out of massive respect and gratitude for the NHS which is so special, along with a friend already being involved who told me they were short of volunteers,” said Paul.

“There is a feeling at 3 am in a hospital, doing something to help, that is hard to describe. But it is also about riding a motorbike which is an adjunct to my hobby - if you ride one you will understand.”

Simon Grover is responsible for supporting volunteers at BSAVA and said that he jumped at the opportunity to ride again after having children.

“I’ve enjoyed motorcycles ever since I was 17, so I thought Blood Bikers might give me a chance to get back on a bike, and following a chance meeting I was being trained as an Advanced rider,” he said.
 
“It is great to give something back to the community, I’ve only done four shifts and already I’ve clocked up 2,600 miles with more than 70 calls received – you know you’re making a difference because the nurses tell you that they and the patients are so grateful, and although the allotment, exercise regime and sleep patterns have suffered, I wouldn’t change it.”

Registered charity Severn Freewheelers is funded through voluntary donations and costs around £50,000 a year to run, yet saves the NHS around £250,000 a year. Its main aim is to help patients by transporting human tissue and other essential medical items between hospitals and blood transfusion banks in Gloucestershire and the surrounding areas.

If you would like to make a donation to either organisation, please contact the BSAVA on 01452 726700 or email administration@bsava.com

Image (C) BSAVA

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Amur leopard cubs caught on camera

News Story 1
 A pair of Amur leopards have been captured on camera for the first time since their birth. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced the birth in July, but with human presence being kept to a minimum, it was not known how many cubs had been born.

Motion sensitive cameras have now revealed that two cubs emerged from the den - at least one of which may be released into the wild in Russia within the next two or three years. The Amur leopard habitat is not open to the public, to help ensure the cubs retain their wild instincts and behaviour. Image © RZSS 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop