THE NHS Sustainable Development Unit has appointed a new member of staff to lead on embedding sustainability in the emerging GP commissioning landscape. David Maher is one of three new employees who will help to promote improvements across the NHS. The others are Tom Leach, who will lead on patient engagement; and Sarah Goodson who will liaise with Health Education England to consider new opportunities for sustainability. All three positions are part-time secondments covering one day a week for the next six months.
YEOVIL District Hospital is becoming more energy efficient with the installation of a combined heat and power (CHP) system. Paid for with finance from the Salix Energy Fund, the equipment is expected to help the hospital save in excess of 646 tonnes of CO2 a year and cut £112,000 from energy bills. The savings will enable the Salix loan to be repaid within four years. Robert Steele, the hospital's director of facilities, said: "Efficient and reliable electricity, heating and hot water is essential in the delivery of high-quality patient care and for compliance with carbon reduction targets. CHP is an ideal energy solution for hospital buildings. It means a secure on-site supply, savings on energy bills and cuts in carbon emissions." Over the past year the hospital has also introduced domestic household waste recycling across all departments, has begun to source food products locally, and has introduced low-energy lighting and improved insulation. The next project will be the replacement of water tanks next spring.
EAST and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has approved the business case for a new £2.7m combined heat and power plant to be built at Stevenage's Lister Hospital. The project is part of a £150m redevelopment of the hospital and is scheduled to be completed by autumn 2012. The new plant should reduce the hospital's energy bills by around £650,000 per year and cut carbon emissions by almost 20%, as well as resolving £1.3m of backlog maintenance issues. Nick Carver, the trust's chief executive, said: "The savings are immediate and very significant and the plant's construction will not disturb patient care. At a time when the trust has to make considerable financial savings while maintaining high-quality clinical care, this project really does tick all the boxes."
SOUTH Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) has saved £10,000 on its energy bill by using new energy management software. The technology has reduced the power used by each of SEPT's PCs by more than 20% and reduced its carbon footprint by around 30 tonnes. Dr Patrick Geoghegan, the trust's chief executive, said: "This software has clearly shown SEPT can conserve natural resources as well as achieve considerable operational savings. The first phase of the project has given us an even clearer insight into our IT energy usage and we're now looking for ways to build on these savings and extend our use of the solution in other areas such as networked printers and the trust's networking hardware."
ALL NHS organisations and their suppliers and stakeholders are being urged to sign up to a 'day of action' on sustainability to take place next year. The event is earmarked for 28 March 2012 and will include initiatives to help engage staff, patients and partners as well as information on issues such as carbon reduction, procurement and travel. More details will be released by the NHS Sustainability Development Unit shortly.