ELECTRIC cars have been purchased by two Dorset hospitals in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions.

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch NHS Trust claim the two cars bolster their commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Sustainability officer Steven Fall said the two Nissan Leafs were produced in the UK and their batteries can be reused once they are no longer effective.

“Electric vehicles have an important role to play in reducing CO2 emissions and will also enable our trust to achieve long-term savings compared to using standard petrol or diesel vehicles,” he added.

The vehicles will be used for staff travelling between the two hospital sites and any other work-related journeys, with Mr Fall claiming their introduction will help reduce pollution.

Two charge points have been installed on site for staff and another for patients, which have been predominantly funded by the government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles.

The charge points are currently free to use and put the hospital on the national map for charge points for electric vehicle users.

The purchase of the cars comes shortly after the trust’s catering department invested in an electric van for the delivery of meals between the two hospitals.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “The electric van will help the trust reduce its transport-related carbon footprint, while still enabling an effective food delivery service.”

The introduction of these vehicles comes against the backdrop of an NHS target to reduce its carbon footprint by 10 per cent between 2009 and 2015.

The spokesperson added: “In support of this target, the trust has developed a sustainable management plan which affirms the objectives and targets for reducing carbon emissions and enables the organisation to contribute to the NHS aim of becoming a low carbon, sustainable provider of high-quality healthcare.”