Skip to main content
The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation
Case study

The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust integrated sustainable transport into a large organisation.

The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest NHS trusts in the country, covering the historic Peak District and southern Derbyshire. The Trust has five hospitals across the region, with the largest being the newly built Royal Derby Hospital.

They serve 600,000 people and are one of Derby’s biggest employers. As winners of the 2018 Fleet Heroes Award ‘Smarter Travel Hero’, they are a prime example of how to effectively integrate sustainable transport into an organisation.


Business travel, staff commuting, and patient and visitor travel account for 13 per cent of the Trust’s total carbon footprint. Due to the nature of its service, provided by over 12,000 employees, not all mileage can be reduced.

However, the Trust is committed to reducing its emissions, air pollution, and impact to traffic congestion to improve the travel experiences and wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff.


Travel plan

Since 2010, the Trust has had a comprehensive travel plan in place to popularise active travel and reduce the number of staff single-occupancy vehicles, while encouraging shared car journeys for staff. The plan has won a number of national and international awards.


The Trust has secured discounts on bikes and accessories from local providers, allowing them to offer employees £50 vouchers under their ‘Wheels to Work’ scheme.

The Trust has established a partnership with a community bicycle recycling initiative, Bike Back Derby, which takes donated bikes, refurbishes them and sells them to members of public and the partner organisations.

The Trust also works with Cyclescheme to offer their employees a cycle to work salary sacrifice scheme, which currently has 69 participants. Their CEO leads by example, by completing part of his daily commute by cycling.

Public transport

The Trust is working with local travel companies to incentivise public transport for patients, visitors and staff. A variety of discounted tickets are available for staff and visitors.

“Depending upon their usage and the type of pass, the staff can save from 10 per cent to 40 per cent on their annual travel costs with the discounted tickets.”

Andrea Booth, transport and sustainability officer at Royal Derby Hospital


Staff sharing their journeys are eligible for designated parking spaces, which are part-subsidised. In line with the UK Government’s drive towards the uptake of zero emission vehicles, car leasing for staff using salary sacrifice is only available for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

A total of 109 out of the 285 lease vehicles the Trust owns are ULEVs, used for personal and business use. There are four charging points for electric vehicles, which are available to staff and visitors at a subsidised price.


The Trust uses a mobile app that informs its members of any congestion and accidents around Derby, enabling better route planning. Another mobile app belonging to the Trust provides real time parking information to the users, locating the nearest car parks, available spaces, and parking rates, saving time and reducing congestion at hospital sites.

Clinical teams at the Trust provide patient consultations online, where appropriate, to reduce travel. They also use video conferencing to live-stream specialist procedures to national and international medical students.


Staff survey

An annual staff survey helps the Trust understand how their travel policies are performing. The results from the survey have also been shared with local bus companies and Derby City Council to integrate it in their planning.

The results of their latest staff survey, completed by 2,200 members, are summarised in the table shown. Almost all (90 per cent) of the respondents were based at the Royal Derby Hospital.

Thanks to travel initiatives, staff have saved thousands of pounds and have contributed to reduce pollution around the hospital over the past 10 years.

Mode of transport % of staff using the mode of transport
2012 2018
Walking 9% 15%
Bus 12% 20%
Park and ride, or using their own car 63% 51%
Car-pooling 8% 2%
Cycling 3% 5%
Taking a lift 4% 3%
Motorcycle 1% 1%
Other 0% 3%

Last updated: 28 October 2020