Carbon emissions caused by patient transport services are to be reduced following the introduction of Stockport’s first electric community ambulance.
Non-emergency patients can now be transported to and from Stepping Hill Hospital in the environmentally-friendly vehicle recently introduced by local provider, Ambulnz Community Partners.
Ambulnz is partnering with Stockport NHS Foundation Trust for the transfer and discharge of non-emergency patients in the local area and has a fleet of three community ambulances which transport non-emergency passengers daily, a third of which is now carbon neutral.
Due to their weight and equipment, electric ambulances are still relatively rare compared with other types of electric vehicle, with the first ones in the UK being introduced only last year.
The new vehicle has all the same full capabilities of the previous diesel community ambulance and a range of approximately 120 miles before it needs recharging.
Electric ambulances also cost less to run and maintain, meaning better long-term value for the health service.
The new community ambulance will help the trust towards the targets of its Green Plan introduced in 2022, which includes ambitions for a 75% cut in business travel emissions by 2030, and a reduction of overall greenhouse emissions of 85% by 2032.
Electric delivery vans on the Stepping Hill Hospital site have already been introduced.
And Ambulnz Community Partners aims to replace more of its vehicles with electric versions in the future and is working collaboratively with the trust to move another of the vehicles to an electric ambulance.
Cathy Lloyd, directorate manager of operational support at the trust, said “We’re absolutely dedicated to reducing our carbon transport emissions to help us support the environment, and are very pleased our partners in Ambulnz are now helping us to meet this commitment.
“The new electric community ambulance and its crew are now providing, safe, effective transport for our patients in way which is healthier for the planet too.”
Natalie Lamb, managing director of Ambulnz Community Partners, added: “I am delighted to be implementing our first electric ambulance into Stockport.
“This is one of six electric ambulances we are welcoming into our fleet over the next few months and represents our organisational commitment to supporting the NHS meet its net zero targets.”