[News] Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare Switch To Rental To Help Employees Commute And Social Distance

05 October 2020

As part of a phased programme to switch from an owned to a rental fleet, Sunrise Senior Living UK has provided all 46 of its Sunrise and Gracewell residential care locations with access to Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) through Enterprise Flex-E-Rent.

This ensures staff can safely get to and from work since Covid-19. The vehicles are also being used for essential patient and resident travel. The MPVs were selected to enable social distancing for up to four people and each has a tail lift and two wheelchair points within, so they are ideal if a resident is wheelchair-bound.

Sunrise had already identified that leasing or rental offered greater benefits, including greater flexibility and reduced costs, over ownership. The lockdown accelerated the switch from a wholly owned fleet and Enterprise was able to source and deliver 36 seven-seat MPVs within two days at the end of March.

Sunrise Director of Procurement Chris Dean explained, “We immediately hired 36 seven-seaters from Enterprise for staff travel because we needed to safeguard our employees and offer an alternative to public transport. Now we are starting to replace the seven-seaters with nine-seat accessible minibuses with wheelchair access on a five-year contract hire model.


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The number crunching established that leasing was the best route. Enterprise included full maintenance, servicing, repairs and even offers maintenance on-site, which means the minibuses are on the road more of the time and able to support more activities. We're really pleased with how Enterprise helped us. The response is always very quick.”

Chris Dean added that a few locations were already using nine-seater MPVs as there was less legislation: “You don't need a special licence to drive them, although we instigate training for our minibus drivers as a safety measure. The reduced legislation brought reduced costs, so we recently decided to explore ways of hiring more smaller sized vehicles.

We approached Enterprise among a number of companies, and they came up with the best, most rounded deal that included full maintenance, servicing and repairs with an on-site option. Previously our 15-seater minibuses would be out of action for a couple of days every ten weeks. We're now going to have one day a year without access to the new minibuses which means they are on the road a lot more, able to do more activities.”

Sunrise plans to share the new MPVs across adjacent locations to increase utilisation as new residential and care homes are opened.

Danny Glynn, Managing Director of Enterprise Flex-E-Rent said: “This is an example of how flexible rental enables businesses to meet long and short-term mobility requirements, both for customers and employees. Organisations now appreciate that ensuring safe, reliable, efficient mobility for customers and employees is an essential part of their business service.

They need solutions that enable vehicles to be quickly added or replaced as their needs change, which is exactly what rental is designed to deliver.”

Mike Crawshaw is a Spiral Group consultant who specialises in providing care homes with better purchasing solutions. He has advised Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare for a number of years and was recently involved in their decision to lease a selection of vehicles.

“Smaller organisations do not always realise that there are any other options to purchasing vehicles outright when they need mobility,” Mike Crawshaw explained.

“This puts pressure on the business both in terms of management time and real cost as the number of vehicles they own increases. Renting or leasing vehicles through an organisation like Enterprise can reduce cost in terms of time and overhead, as well as providing access to expertise and a wider choice of vehicles.”

Interested in finding out how our flexible vehicle rental service can benefit your business like it did for Sunrise Senior Living? Click below to make an enquiry with one of our flexible hire experts today.

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