Oxford Health drive for change with new pool car initiative

The trust continues to make headway in reducing carbon emissions and supporting the NHS target to be net zero by 2040.

Oxford Health drive for change with new pool car initiative

Oxford Health’s drive to reduce carbon emissions and travel towards net zero by 2040 has stepped up a gear.

The Trust’s district and community nursing teams in Oxford are taking part in a free trial of lower-emission pool cars to test ways that will help hit NHS national green targets and support the reduction of air pollution in communities.

The teams have so far clocked up over 1,200 miles with 20 members of staff using the service hosted by Co-wheels.

The Oxford Community teams based at Blackbird Leys and Jericho Health Centre kicked off the free trial of two Toyota Yaris hybrid pool cars – available for the teams to use on daily basis to complete patient home visits. The next stops for the hybrid cars are Littlemore Mental Health Centre with the mental health community team and Saffron House, the new South Buckinghamshire Mental Health Hub.

The teams will put the pool cars to the test – using a booking app and assessing how sharing a pool car impacts on daily duties. The cars are professionally cleaned regularly to follow COVID-19 infection prevention and control guidelines and any vehicles where members have reported they are suspected to be positive for COVID-19 are closed for 7 days and deep cleaned.

If the trial is a success, Oxford Health hope to continue the use of pool cars, with the option to extend to other teams across the trust.

The aim of the new vehicles is to contribute towards improving Oxford Health’s air quality and reducing carbon emissions.

In the UK, air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health causing up to 36,000 deaths a year.

John Upham, Oxford Health’s Sustainability Manager, commented:

“We are so pleased to have started this new trial of pool cars in our community teams. It is a great opportunity to test their potential which in the long term could help us to reduce carbon emissions and mileage. We must work to understand air pollution, recognise the threats and take action to protect our environment and health.

“This is an exciting step for Oxford Health staff, if it is a success, pool cars could be an option in the trusts latest travel plan.”

Oxford Health continue to focus on green initiatives such as 100% of electrical power provided from renewable sources offsite, no contribution of any waste to landfill from any sites and the development of new green spaces to support the NHS to deliver the world’s first net zero health service, improving the health of people now and in the future.

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Published: 22 June 2021