New vehicles get healthcare team on the road and help reduce emissions

Sep 29, 2023

A new fleet of hybrid cars are helping healthcare professionals reach patients returning home from hospital, as part of North Lanarkshire Council’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

The council has provided the hybrid Suzuki Vitara cars for the Home Assessment Team managed by Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire.

The team includes staff from social work, health and social care who plan patients’ discharge from hospital and arrange the assessments needed at home. They then provide support at home for up to two weeks after discharge, with services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, home support and provision of equipment to help with daily tasks.

“We have set a target to be net zero by 2030, and reducing carbon emissions from our vehicles is an important part of the council’s strategy,” said Councillor Helen Loughran, Convener of the Environment and Climate Change Committee.

“Across our fleet, we are moving to hybrid and fully electric vehicles as well as investigating the use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel for heavy goods vehicles, like the bin lorries.

“We are also installing more public electric vehicle charging points to make it easier for residents and businesses to use electric vehicles, and investing in active travel routes across North Lanarkshire to support people walking and cycling for leisure and commuting.”

Margaret Flavell, senior manager, adult social work services, Health & Social Care North Lanarkshire, said: “These cars will help support the work of the Home Assessment Team as well as the wider social work service.

“We have a number of different staff across the team, and these cars are key for staff who can drive but don’t have access to a car during work hours.

“Our teams can face a number of challenges reaching service users in more remote parts of North Lanarkshire, especially in winter, and the 4×4 cars will make these visits easier for our teams.”

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