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Pandemic sees NHS Lanarkshire save more than £1m on fuel costs

NHS Lanarkshire staff racked up enough petrol and diesel miles to travel to the moon and back nearly 10 times last year.

That’s despite saving more than £1m in fuel costs last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, the health board spent £1.9m on the fossil fuels as staff drove 4.9m miles even with all the various coronavirus restrictions.

The figures were released following a freedom of information request.

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Overall, NHS Lanarkshire saved £1.1m on fuel costs as a result of the pandemic.

With more staff working from home, the total mileage of fossil fuel powered vehicles fell from 7.7m miles in 2019/20 – the same distance as just over 16 round trips to the moon.

The total cost in 2019/20 was just over £3m – an increase of £73,000 on the previous year despite an decrease in mileage of more than 200,000 miles.

Central Scotland MSP Gillian Mackay has called for a “collaborative” approach to reduce fossil fuel usage in the public sector in a bid to tackle climate change.

The Green MSP said: “It’s clear that urgent action is required if we are to curb the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

“We must see that action across all areas of government, including our NHS.

“With collaborative working between government, councils and the NHS I’m sure we could take quick and relatively simple steps like improving public transport links to hospitals and health centres, as well as more complex ones like greening NHS vehicle fleets.

“As we begin to recover from the pandemic I’ll seek to engage constructively with the new Health Secretary, as well as with NHS Lanarkshire itself, to see what action is already underway, and what more can be done, to tackle the sizeable climate emissions produced by our health service.”

June Levick, NHS Lanarkshire head of hotel services, said: “During the last year we have used less fuel overall across NHS Lanarkshire. However, our fleet did use more petrol.

“This was due to additional journeys undertaken as part of the COVID response. For example, reactive cleans in the community and transporting COVID testing samples.”

Fuel used by NHS Lanarkshire’s fleet vehicles (litres)

2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Petrol 6,744 7,926 25,375
Diesel 210,851 202,305 199,708
Total 217,595 210,231 225,083

Mileage

2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Petrol 36,373 26,167 72,450
Diesel 1,292,223 1,161,452 1,066,194
Staff business mileage 6,661,482 6,589,876 3,799,971
Total 7,990,078 7,777,495 4,938,615

Note- NHS Lanarkshire does not record the split between mileage for petrol and diesel relating to staff carrying out business mileage.

Cost

2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Petrol £8,509 £9,773 £24,402
Diesel £273,759 £257,870 £192,954
Staff business mileage £2,665,662 £2,753,937 £1,689,529
Total £2,947,930 £3,021,580 £1,906,885

Note- NHS Lanarkshire does not record the split between costs for petrol and diesel relating to staff carrying out business mileage.

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