EXCLUSIVE: West Middlesex University Hospital has saved more than £38,000 by launching a pool car scheme.
The employer introduced a Nissan Leaf electric car, provided by Alphabet, for 40 of its therapists to use to help cut the cost of taxi fares and to lower the hospital’s carbon footprint.
Therapists’ taxi fares totalled £38,000 in 2013.
Transport for London gave the hospital a grant to install two electric car-charging bays in the hospital car park for the car, nevertheless a number of challenges had to be overcome to implement the benefit.
For example, the employer had to overcome the NHS’s procurement framework policy that requires the introduction of a minimum of five fleet cars as opposed to just one.
Andy Finlay, performance and operations manager at West Middlesex University Hospital, said: “No one was interested in leasing just one electric car to us. If we had wanted a fleet of four or five cars, procurement would not have been a problem.
“But we wanted to begin by providing the concept, so one car was all we wanted.”
Each member of the hospital’s therapy team has used the car more than once since it was introduced in June.
The pool car will allow the organisation to redirect 40% of the money it previously spent on taxi fares back into the hospital.
Finlay added: “A lot of NHS organisations are scratching their heads over their carbon footprint. They know they need to shrink emissions, but they do not know how too.
“This shows what can be done. It is cheap and saves money. The electric car is also another benefit for staff, which the organisation can use to help attract and retain employees.
“It is better for us to insure our own car than pay out insurance for an employee, a grey fleet has no benefit to us.
“We are likely to extend the use of pooled electric cars in the future.”