Supplied by dealer Rossetts Commercials, and funded and managed through fleet service provider Zenith Vehicle Contracts, 100 of the new vehicles have already gone into service, with the remainder due for delivery by the end of this year.
All are Vito 114 CDI Pure L2 models with long bodies, specified with rear-wheel drive 138bhp, 2.1-litre engines. Insulation and dual-compartment conversions are by Coolertech, of East Sussex, while Cambridge-based Marshall Fleet Solutions is supplying and installing the Thermo King refrigeration units.
Heathcare at Home operates from 14 locations, with a 1,500-strong workforce – including nurses and pharmacists – supporting 180,000 patients nationwide. The vans are not liveried to reflect the sensitive nature of the work and to address patient confidentiality.
“We previously ran several different brands of vehicle from various providers, but this was presenting more of a challenge from a communications perspective. Following a review of our logistics function we therefore decided to replace the entire fleet, and to consolidate around a single van model and a more streamlined management system,” says Sandy Lalli, Healthcare’s head of central clinical logistics. She adds: “It was imperative that our new vans should be maintained by official Mercedes-Benz dealers. Their out-of-hours servicing capability allows for work to be undertaken overnight, so it has no impact on our operation.”