The sustainability stars of the NHS

The big winners of the evening were the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust who scooped three awards, including being named the overall winner. Sussex Community NHS Trust also picked up three prizes winning the Behaviour Change, Clinical and HR categories.
   
Other winners included Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust who picked up awards for their work on Water and Energy, Manchester Central NHS Foundation Trust for their efforts on waste reduction, North Bristol NHS Trust who were recognised for their utilisation of local food produce and Derby Hospitals who resisted calls for a multi-storey car park and instead created a sustainable travel solution.
   
All submissions for the 2015 awards will be compiled into a report highlighting the impact sustainability is having on finances and environmental performance within the NHS. The report will be submitted to the Department of Health this summer.

The Winners
The Behaviour Change, Human Resources and Clinical Awards were presented to Sussex Community NHS Trust (SCT). In 2010 the Trust introduced its first Sustainable Development Management Plan (SDMP), which set a trajectory to reduce all key environmental impacts from Trust operations (including, most significantly absolute CO2 emissions) by 2015, along with a zero landfill commitment.    
   
In the first four years, the SDMP succeeded in reducing its carbon footprint by 985 tonnes (15.7 per cent), and 60 per cent of its general waste by weight was recycled, with the remainder converted into fuel to generate electricity.
   
In February 2014 SCT’s Board approved a new and more holistic sustainable healthcare strategy, called Care Without Carbon. This superseded the original SDMP and set more challenging sustainability targets forward to 2020, with a long-term aspiration to become the first carbon neutral healthcare NHS provider in the UK.

Food
North Bristol NHS Trust won in the Food category. The Trust has taken significant steps to source local, seasonal, organic and fairly traded food as part of its Trust-wide policy to reduce its impact on the environment at the same time as maintaining quality.

The Trust convinced its existing wholesalers that it wanted more seasonal and organic food within a 50 mile radius wherever possible.
   
The Trust also worked with its local branch of the Soil Association to find local suppliers and change its menus.
   
Since the initiative, all its milk (412,800 pints a year) comes from the local family run Gundenham Dairy Farm in Wellington, Somerset.

All its meat is farm assured and comes from a local butcher, all beef mince is organic; all eggs are free range; and all fish is sustainably sourced and MSC certified.
   
The Trust now operates winter and summer menus to make the most of seasonal produce and reduce food miles, and over 93 per cent dishes are freshly prepared onsite. The most recent patient satisfaction survey shows a recent score of 95.1 per cent.

Water
Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust picked up the award in the Water category.

The Trust has saved nearly 20 per cent of its water consumption, a value of over £120k per annum, through a partnership with water management experts ADSM. The programme utilises AquaFund, a grant scheme that provides all finance and resources to achieve water efficiencies and financial savings by engaging engineering, maintenance and clinical staff to reduce water use. The savings achieved are split between the Trust and the fund with a proportion of the money donated to WaterAid each year on the Trust’s behalf.

Waste
Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust scooped the ‘Waste Award’. By working in partnership with its PFI provider (Sodexo) and WRAP to address food waste, the Trust has achieved exceptional savings in waste volume, waste costs and recycling rates.

Historically food waste at the Trust was disposed of in its general domestic waste stream, contaminating its otherwise clean recyclable waste. This had a knock-on effect; requiring all domestic waste to be processed at a ‘dirty’ Materials Recovery Facility. This waste management process resulted in recycling rates of approximately 25 per cent of total volume.
   
The Trust created a separate food waste stream, which involved arranging caddies for food collection in all wards; training and engagement for all staff involved in the change; allocating space in disposal holds for food waste collection; and procurement of a food waste collection service, sending the stream for Anaerobic Digestion.
   
The end result of this work was to reduce its monthly food waste volume from 12.5 tonnes to 7.4 tonnes per month. And by moving from a ‘dirty MRF’ process to a ‘clean MRF’ process, the Trust increased overall recycling rates of its general domestic waste stream from 25 per cent to 95 per cent.

The cost savings from the food waste stream alone total more than £17,000 per year.

Transport
Derby Hospitals won the Transport Award. Hospital parking is a challenge across the country and was absolutely the case when Derby’s two former hospitals merged onto the new Royal Derby Hospital site in 2008. With car parking problems overshadowing the otherwise positive new hospital experience of staff and patients, a tremendous effort was put into developing innovative ways to encourage alternative transport use through the Trust’s first ever Travel Plan.

Despite endless calls from staff and the public to ‘build’ a multi-storey car park and simply address the problem by creating more car parking, the Trust set out to work in partnership with Derby City Council and local transport providers to influence and support sustainable behaviour change by encouraging staff and patients to choose the healthy option and reduce their carbon footprint by using more sustainable modes of transport.
   
As a result, the annual programme has been running for over four years, incorporating cycle to work, public transport, and walk to work incentive weeks. What’s more, in partnership with local bus companies, Derby hospitals hold monthly public transport road shows, as well as hosting a travel hub and waiting area with live bus wait times and bus information available at the hospital’s main entrances.

Community and Public Health
East and North Hertfordshire scooped both the Community, Public Health award, and were also crowned the Overall Winner.
   
The Trust has a campaign to inspire citizens across all its communities to get involved in health and make a positive difference to their local community. The Trust’s vision was to engage all in contributing to healthier more sustainable communities. The Trust trains its young members as health champions and give them opportunities to apply their learning in local community settings such as schools and health action days. The Trust also works in partnership to design and deliver projects to tackle health inequalities, such as young members teaching ICT skills to older members at risk of social isolation. What’s more, the Trust transforms its regular AGM meeting into a full-blown 400+ community development conference designed to inspire and involve communities and partners in creating a more sustainable local health economy.

Energy
The Energy Award went to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) for reducing its energy demand in the past year – a 14 per cent reduction in total energy demand for the first 10 months to January 2015, compared to 2013/14. The Trust’s Scope 1&2 carbon footprint is also 14 per cent lower than the first 10 months of 2013/14.
   
GOSH introduced a series of five sustainable action pledges from five of the most senior members of staff which were converted into posters and over 200 were placed around GOSH buildings. They were also set as GOSH’s default screensavers for the week leading up to NHS Sustainability Day 2014. The campaign was very well received and GOSH saw an immediate eight per cent reduction in electricity consumption the following month.

This was followed up in April with the launch of a Carbon Culture online community platform, displaying the building level electricity consumption on a public website.

Procurement
Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust picked up the Procurement Award. Medical instruments, used to treat and heal patients in the UK, have been shown, in some cases, to be produced in environments where employees are at risk of injury and labour rights violations, such as sexual harassment, poor working conditions and unfair wages.
   
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, supported by the British Medical Association (BMA), has embarked on a programme of working with key suppliers to understand the impact of its £600m supply chain to improve conditions, and establish clear standards for suppliers that can be used on a national or even international level.
   
Using the Ethical Trade Initiative’s Base Code as a foundation, the Trust has developed a supplier Code of Conduct, which incorporates ethical as well as environmental standards.

Information Technology
Locala Community Partnerships won the IT Award. Locala’s digital journey started in 2013 when it began working with IT provider Dell. Using Lync technology, Locala Community Partnership has an increasing number of video appointments with patients on computers or phones and in locations that suit the patient – at home or work and even on a train. This has an environmental benefit because travel between appointments is reduced and colleagues can use Lync to ask for a second opinion when in the patient’s home – speeding up treatment and reducing the number of extra visits.

Further information
www.nhssustainabilityawards.co.uk

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