The National Health Service relies heavily on courier services to carry out its daily tasks. From collecting and delivering samples and patient records to medicines and reports, logistics are essential in its day-to-day operations.
Not only is the delivery of such items essential, but it is also a high priority – meaning that, often, lives can depend on the timely arrival of packages. Many times, important operations and treatments cannot be started until test reports arrive from laboratories. At any time, hospitals can run out of essential supplies and could need to order more. In such instances, having a reliable courier service can save time, prevent mismanagement, and help reduce people's pain and misery.
This is why the NHS employs multiple courier services to help in its operations.
While delivery vehicles for the NHS carry out vital tasks, they are often powered by diesel and are hazardous for the environment. Diesel-based vans emit carbon emissions, contributing to air pollution. They also cause congestion on the roads.
But for so long, their use on the roads has gone unquestioned because they are seen as a necessary evil. A little damage to the environment almost becomes justifiable when it is for as noble a cause as saving lives. However, recently, NHS has come up with a solution to prevent some of this damage.
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust looked for alternative ways to deliver packages that would be more environmentally friendly. The solution came in the form of electric bikes that would be used to deliver medical specimens, reports, and records across two hospital sites in Newcastle.
The trial period of running electric bike cargo services in place of traditional diesel-run vehicles was smooth. The deliveries were made on time, and the delivery load volume was handled adequately.
The electric bike delivery service ran on a trial period of three months. It replaced about 500 miles of transport that was previously conducted by diesel-based vehicles.
The benefits of the electric bike cargo service were threefold. Firstly, it was estimated that carbon emissions were reduced in the environment by up to 436g in just three months. Secondly, almost £6,250 were saved in the trial period. And thirdly, it contributed to a better experience for both patients and staff as the delivery bikes took up less parking space.
The trial period for electric bikes ran successfully, reducing carbon emissions and improving local air quality. However, there is a need to implement the electric delivery services in their full force throughout the NHS.