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NHS fleet initiative could save millions

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NHS fleets are being targeted with a new fleet management system that could save millions of pounds by cutting grey fleet mileage.

An estimated 200,000 NHS employees drive their own cars for work, while there are more than 40,000 lease cars on NHS fleets.

NHS CPC Drive will provide a single, online platform delivering a range of fleet services to Trusts across the country, including car leasing and salary sacrifice.

But for a public sector charged with delivering ‘more for less’, it’s aiming for a minimum 10% saving on grey fleet spend, providing a potential quick win.

For example, one Trust in the Yorkshire and Humber region is spending £3 million per year for four million grey fleet miles travelled – an average of 75p per mile which is almost twice the Government’s AMAP rate.

Apart from Trusts urgently reviewing AMAP rates, a 10% improvement here would bring savings of £300,000 and with 400-plus Trusts nationally that could run to more than £100 million.

David Olima, the sustainable travel lead in the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group, told a recent Wales Audit Office conference that “with the pressure facing the public sector to deliver more for less you start to see why grey fleet is not an insignificant area to address”.
Fleet News has already revealed county councils paid staff close to £93 million for using their own cars on business in 2009 (Fleet News, September 30, 2010).

NHS Trusts could be spending more than 10 times that amount on its grey fleet.

Julian Clarke, head of fleet services at NHS CPC Drive, said: “A considerable percentage of our travel spend is on the grey fleet, where doctors, nurses and other essential care workers are using their own vehicles as part of their duties.

“We wanted to provide an online all-embracing fleet services solution, which covered lease cars, grey fleet, salary sacrifice and an electronic expenses system, so NHS Trusts take control of their business travel spend and deliver considerable savings which can be released to improve frontline services for patients.”

Clarke told Fleet News that many Trusts currently manage grey fleet mileage expenses using paper-based manual systems.

However, its automated expenses system will give management more accurate information, allowing them to get to grips with grey fleet miles more effectively.

They will also be able to use postcode by postcode geo-mapping techniques to ascertain whether journeys are actually being planned on the most effective routes, reducing grey fleet miles where appropriate.

NHS CPC was formed in 2007 as a regional procurement hub to achieve savings for the NHS in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

However, its success has put it on a national footing and by partnering with Tusker to provide its fleet management service - www.cpcdrive.nhs.uk - it’s broadening its offering further.

So far, four NHS Trusts - the Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority, NHS Leeds, Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust and Queen’s Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn – are using NHS CPC Drive.

Clarke said he hoped to have 15 further Trusts signed-up in the next 12 months.

Click here for grey fleet best practice and procurement insight

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