Guy's and St Thomas' to stop 36,000 truck deliveries to cut pollution


Posted on Tuesday 8 October 2019
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Trucks delivering medical supplies into St Thomas' busy loading bay

More than 36,000 truck deliveries to Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust will be stopped each year in a plan to reduce pollution in central London.

With up to 160 deliveries currently each day, the Trust receives a wide range of supplies from clinical supplies to bed linen – much of which is stored on-site for future use. Now those supplies will be delivered to a Dartford-based consolidation hub close to the M25 and only the supplies that are needed on that day are transported to the hospitals.

In a five year contract with CEVA Logistics, the new storage and distribution centre will also reduce the amount of supplies needed each day and cut on-site waste with outer cardboard packaging removed in Dartford. Currently Guy's and St Thomas' processes 2,000 tonnes of cardboard each year.

Other benefits include speeding up the rate at which products are delivered into clinical areas due to improved packing, reduced clutter in public areas as less supplies are stored on site, and deliveries restricted to less busy times.

Within the new hub, Guy's and St Thomas' will also create an innovation centre with CEVA that will evaluate gas-powered and electric delivery vehicles. An electric delivery vehicle is set to be piloted in January 2020.

Under the plan, Guy's and St Thomas' will help meet the Mayor of London's aim to deliver a 10 per cent reduction in the number of lorries and vans entering central London in the morning peak time on current rates by 2026.

The move follows the switch to cargo bikes to transport blood and tumours for testing between Guy's Hospital and St Thomas' Hospital, which replaced vans and motorbikes. That trial started in May and means hundreds of deliveries each month are now made by cargo bikes, cutting pollution and journey times.

David Lawson, chief procurement officer at Guy's and St. Thomas', said: "London has a real problem with pollution and we see this every day with children coming in for treatment because of respiratory problems. We are the equivalent of a small car factory in terms of deliveries received with around one delivery every three minutes or up to 160 each day.

"This new supply chain hub will reduce the number of deliveries to our hospitals by 90 per cent, which will remove over 36,000 truck deliveries from central London roads each year.

"This is part of our ambitious strategy to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our sustainability while ensuring critical deliveries are made every day across our central London hospitals."

Alex Williams, TfL's Director of City Planning, said: "Freight is the lifeblood of London's businesses and services, but it is vital that we work to make it more efficient to reduce its impact on air quality, congestion and road danger.

"It's fantastic to see Guy's and St Thomas' working to reduce the number of lorries entering our most congested streets and investing in alternatives to petrol and diesel powered vehicles. This will make a real difference to making London a healthier and safer place for everybody."

Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: "We're determined to transform how deliveries work in the capital to help reduce road danger and clean up our toxic air.

"I'm really impressed by the steps Guy's and St Thomas' are taking to dramatically reduce deliveries and limit the impact of essential journeys by using cleaner and greener alternatives. I hope they will inspire many more organisations to follow their lead."

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