Lord Carter NHS Ambulance Trusts report highlights a need for fleet management software

Investment in products such as FleetWave recommended within the blue light service

A recent report by Lord Carter titled  “Operational productivity and performance in English NHS Ambulance Trusts” highlights a need for fleet management software. It recognises the benefits of specific software to enable the centralisation of vehicle and assets information to help improve efficiencies and minimise downtime.

Key findings of the report include:

A lack of common standard for recording and monitoring fleet information
The need for improvements to ambulance maintenance scheduling
A lack of ambulance specification standardisation.

It was highlighted that Trusts work independently from one another when purchasing ambulances, thereby by reducing purchasing power and increasing costs. Similarly, a lack of standardisation across Trusts when purchasing supplies could reap the benefits from a single, centralised procurement system. Fleet management software lends itself to such integrations.

Data capture was noted as being generally poor with older vehicles recognised as being more vulnerable to breakdowns. Such vehicles require careful monitoring and scheduling of preventative maintenance to minimise the risk of unscheduled downtime. The report takes into account the annual maintenance costs of older ambulances over 6 years as averaging £4,200 a year. These maintenance costs increase to an average of £6,900 once surpassing this age.

With older vehicles placing greater demand on workshops to minimise downtime, fleet management software has proven invaluable in scheduling maintenance tasks to minimise the possibility of unscheduled downtime which is detrimental to any emergency service.

Ambulance Trusts spend over £200 million on its fleet each year, excluding investment in new vehicles. With a combined fleet of over 5,000 vehicles, an effective fleet management system can challenge these costs by streamlining processes to create efficiencies.

We are pleased to be experiencing an increase in interest in FleetWave from Ambulance Trusts and other blue light services. Notable customer signings include the Wales, East Midlands and West Midlands Ambulance Services.

David Gladding, Global Sales and Marketing Director, Chevin Fleet Solutions, explains, “A need for improvement has been recognised which demonstrates a clear understanding of the benefits of systems such as FleetWave.

“Fleets produce a lot of data and managing such quantities of information can be a challenge. Data can often be misunderstood by the wider organisation in terms of strategic and tactical value. But those fleets who can measure and interpret data have seen significant reductions in administrative tasks and gained a clearer picture of fleet availability and specifications required during vehicle and associated asset procurement.”

David continues, “Many of the trusts who approach us regarding our software reflect similar comments made in this report. Ambulance Trusts that we do work alongside have achieved notable process improvements and much-improved vehicle utilisation and availability. Cost savings have increased whilst downtime has been reduced due to the level of visibility such software provides.”

He concludes, “We would certainly welcome more Trusts adopting FleetWave. Our proven strategies and best practices can be shared amongst other Trusts using the software, providing a more standardised approach that they would all benefit from.”