The mobile nursing teams from Dorset HealthCare are switching to electric bikes instead of cars to help the environment, bypass traffic jams and promote healthy living.
Purbeck nurses were the first to trial the bikes, and the scheme has been extended to other areas such as Dorchester and Bournemouth after funding of £2,000 was provided to encourage more nurses to get on their e-bikes.
Not only are the bikes better for the environment, they have saved on travel costs too. Previously, one full staff member in Swanage had an average transport bill of £600, which is now being saved.
With traffic again filling our roads as we come out of lockdown, more nurses are enquiring about the electric bike option.
Lead district nurse for Purbeck, Hattie Taylor, made the bid for the funding in the trust’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ staff innovation competition after seeing the difference e-bikes made to her team.
Hattie said: “We had the idea after a trip to Gouda in Holland, where healthcare staff use bicycles to get to appointments all the time.
“Purbeck isn’t quite as flat as Holland, so we found electric bikes worked better, especially when you’re trying to go uphill.
“Even so, they are a much better alternative to cars. You can get through traffic more easily, and don’t have to worry about finding a parking space when you get to an appointment.
“They save on travel costs and help to reduce pollution. Cycling also gives us a bit of clear headspace between visits, and we feel like we are setting a good example around staying fit, active and healthy.
“Our patients love it when we turn up with our helmets on. It’s an amazing feeling getting around the community on two wheels, it’s like district nurses use to do in the old days, and I was keen for other teams to have that choice.”
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