Properly inflated tyres ‘may save NHS millions’

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It is a chore routinely overlooked by motorists but tyre industry experts have now worked out the real cost of badly inflated tyres after being called in by a Yorkshire NHS trust.

They calculated the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which works across Barnsley, Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale, could save almost £22,000 a year if the tyres on its vehicles were pumped up more accurately.

If that figure is reflected across the NHS, the potential savings could run into millions of pounds.

Experts from Michelin tested 75 cars from the trust’s fleet of 2,000 and found only half were correctly inflated. Fifteen were running on at least one ‘dangerously’ or ‘very dangerously’ under-inflated tyre.

That result is better than the national average, which shows only 28 per cent of tyres have the correct air pressure.

Trust fleet manager Leigh Hancock said they were offered the checks through Volkswagen Group Leasing, who supply their cars. “We are interested in all aspects of health and safety as well as helping the environment, and of course making savings is always important, so we were keen for them to visit. The staff were really positive and many more than expected turned up to get their tyres checked on the day.”

Michelin spokesman Dave Crinson said he hoped the South West Yorkshire Trust would set an example across the NHS.

“We hear a lot in the news about how the NHS is trying to make savings. Correcting tyre pressures is a simple task that can save a lot of money.

“Our figures show this Trust alone could potentially save almost £22,000 each year. Imagine how much the whole NHS could save.”