Bleed kits given local backing

South Glos councillors have backed calls for bleed kits to be carried in all taxis in the Bristol area because of knife crime.

Bristol city councillor Abdul Malik has said the vital equipment, which includes tourniquets, bandages, gels and advice, should be much more widely available because it can save lives in the critical minutes following an attack.

South Gloucestershire Council regulatory committee members welcomed the idea but said cabbies must be trained fully beforehand.

The local authority is drawing up a new taxi and private hire vehicle licensing policy, and officers will now look at including plans to require or encourage drivers to carry bleed kits as part of that.

Cllr Mike Bell (Labour, Staple Hill & Mangotsfield), who raised the issue at the committee, said: “They are quite small packages and we could encourage our drivers to carry bleed kits.”

Cllr Ron Hardie (Labour, Emersons Green) said: “It’s a great idea to put bleed kits in taxis because it makes them available to so many more people. But at the same time if you’re going to provide them in taxis, you need to educate the people who carry them to make sure they know how to use them.”

Cllr Keith Cranney (Conservative, Stoke Gifford) said: “I don’t see a problem with having it but the people that have them onboard would be expected to use them, so yes, they would need training. It opens up a bigger issue as to what is going to be expected of our licensed trade in the future.

“If we’re going to start adding on that they’re going to take on virtually paramedic issues as well then they do need training, otherwise they could be sued for not having done things correctly. A tourniquet has got to be used properly.”

He said South Gloucestershire was the first council to introduce mandatory safeguarding for cabbies.

Cllr Cranney said: “It would be nice if we could turn around and say all of our drivers are first-aid trained as well.

ut it needs to be given officer time and reports, and let’s see how it’s possible to bring it in.”

By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporter