By Lucy Ashton
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has reached a landmark in the roll-out of electric vehicles within its transport fleet. The number of cars and vans which are now fully electric has surpassed 100 with more set to be delivered to support healthcare delivery in the weeks and months ahead.
The latest delivery included four Volvo XC40 fully electric cars which are being used by our GP Out of Hours team as they conduct their rounds, visiting sick patients at home.
Paul Reid, Transport Manager for NHSGGC, said: “Our fleet of electric cars has been growing year-on-year as we look to do our bit to reduce carbon and get to net zero as quickly as possible.
“We will continue to work as quickly as possible to transition away from petrol and diesel and we’re investing in the charging infrastructure needed to support the switch in our fleet.”
One of the services already benefiting from the switch is a team of Occupational Therapists working from Leverndale Hospital, who regularly complete home assessments in preparation for patient discharge. Lindsay Noble, Interim Lead Occupational Therapist, said that in the past, she and the team used their own private cars to make the trip to patient homes. Now, the team use two cars which are fully electric.
She said: “We would have previously used our own either private or NHS leased vehicles prior to the COVID pandemic. That was potentially up to 13 unleaded vehicles being used throughout each week and that’s now dropped to two vehicles with zero emissions. If you add that up over the course of a year, it can make a real impact”.
“The team are already reporting positives from this including increased awareness and confidence with electric vehicles, discussing the benefits with patients and also for some consideration of a move to electric vehicles outside of work.”
Occupational Therapist, Fiona Moar, said: “Over the last couple of years I have experienced increasing eco-anxiety relating to climate emergency, particularly in relation to it being a requirement to have a car when working as an Occupational Therapist I felt stuck trying to reduce my footprint. Use of electric vehicles has allowed me to go over a year without owning a car and I am now able to car share with my household.”
Fiona now cycles to work, further reducing her carbon footprint.
She added: “The electric vehicles themselves are great to drive and I know of two people who have bought an electric car since. I can also see this snowball effect through the whole office as others are talking to their friends and family of experience with electric cars.”