Health officials are looking to spend more on patient care after investing in a fleet of electric vehicles.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with car giant Nissan to add 13 all-electric e-NV200 vans into its fleet, which are used to deliver health supplies, mail and samples.
From initial data, it is expected that the vehicles will cut running costs by 80 per cent, enabling several thousands of pounds to be put back into patient care and go towards developing health services.
Michael Taylor, Northumbria Healthcare’s hotel services manager, with responsibility for the fleet, said: “With increasing financial challenges on the NHS, we needed to make the service more efficient.
“We approached Nissan and put the e-NV200 on trial. The results were so positive with significant savings on the cost of diesel and therefore we decided to add 13 to our fleet.”
The project has been so successful the trust won the Sustainable Achievement Award at the prestigious Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management awards.
The trust’s e-NV200s cover up to 110 miles a day travelling between The Northumbria hospital at Cramlington, general hospitals at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck and community hospitals and sites across Northumberland and North Tyneside.
Michael said: “We’ve been very impressed by the performance of the e-NV200 and it’s definitely helped to change perceptions of electric vehicles among our staff.
“Due to its success we will be looking at how we can expand its use across the trust.”