Working in partnership with the Human Milk Foundation, at Norfolk Blood Bikes we work tirelessly to transport urgently required breast milk for the benefit of sick or premature babies and mothers unable to breastfeed.
Our regional milk bank hub, based at Hellesdon Hospital, provides a storage location for donor breast milk prior to treatment as well as for treated milk ready to be issued to hospitals.
Before the East Anglian milk hub was set up, we rotated between using three milk banks: The Rosie Hospital at Addenbrookes in Cambridge, The Queen Charlotte Hospital in Chelsea and the Hearts Milk Bank in Welwyn Garden City. As we had to travel greater distances to get to these milk banks it meant that it would take longer to deliver the urgently required breast milk to hospitals – an issue both we and The Human Milk Foundation wanted to address.
With the creation of the regional milk bank hub in Norwich, our duty is to act on request from hospitals, collecting milk from nominated donors in Norfolk and delivering to the milk bank or the receiving hospital. The maximum time frame for delivery is now in the region of 20 minutes to an hour, as opposed to the four-and-a-half-hour trip average it was previously.
The milk bank hub is the first of its kind in East Anglia, allowing sick and premature babies in neonatal intensive care units to receive donated breast milk. Milk will also be supplied to mothers who have medical conditions which prevent them from breastfeeding, cannot breastfeed following a mastectomy, or who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer.
We collect milk from nominated donors in Norfolk and deliver it to the milk bank or receiving hospital.
The regional milk bank hub provides a storage location for donor breast milk, reducing our time-frame for urgent deliveries.
Based at Hellesdon Hospital, the regional milk bank hub is the first of its kind in East Anglia.