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7 October 2020

Staff by one of the Trust's electric carsTeams across Frimley Health have been devising and implementing sustainability initiatives that will help the Trust to reduce its impact on the environment and save money.

The Green Ward competition, a Sustainable Quality Improvement Programme, run by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) and supported by our own Sustainability team, featured three departments from Wexham Park and three from Frimley Park.

The programme, initially launched at Frimley Health last summer, helps NHS trusts improve their environmental sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint while improving clinical quality, staff and patient experience and financial performance.

The Frimley Health teams took part in workshops and mentoring sessions with CSH as they worked on their projects.

A presentation, judging and awards ceremony, originally scheduled for March this year, was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, a virtual event was held on 30 September, judged by director of finance Nigel Foster, Trust Operations Centre commander Dr Bill Jewsbury, and Frimley Health and Care transformation director Jane Hogg.

The initiatives:

Wexham Park

Reducing waste of unused linen and consumables by centralising supplies on the ward. This has achieved a 70% reduction in CO2e emissions and could save £3,642 annually.

Reduced excess use of CO2 by closing the tap of   CO2 cylinders between procedures and researching alternatives to CO2 in the longer term. Forecast savings are £1,226 per year together with 546kg of CO2e emissions.

Limiting the environmental impact of metered-dose inhalers by reducing some prescribing, educating patients and avoiding unnecessary duplication and replacements. Consultants are raising the environmental impact of inhalers when discussing choices with patients and their parents, while the adult respiratory team has also been engaged.


Frimley Park

Feasibility study to see whether the team could provide blood directly to NHS Blood and Transplant that had been drawn from otherwise healthy and non-infectious haemochromatosis patients. Direct contribution is not currently viable but the closer engagement with NHSBT has opened up other potential opportunities.

Limiting the waste of walking aids by reducing duplicate issues and increasing returns. The project has the potential to create annual savings of £7,327 and 11,284kg of CO2e emissions.

Stroke Early Supported Discharge (pictured above)
Reducing the carbon footprint of stroke discharges and the wider follow-up service by limiting use of the patient transport service and using electric cars for appointments. Annual reductions of 4,380kg in CO2e emissions are anticipated.

The Paediatric team at Wexham were announced the overall winners of the competition with Frimley’s Stroke ESD team highly commended.

Richard Hilson, Frimley Health’s head of sustainability, said: “This first running of the FHFT Green Wards competition produced six very high standard entries, all in very differing areas of clinical practice and scope, and has been an extremely successful way of generating scalable sustainable quality improvement initiatives from the ground up.

“Thanks go to all the teams, the judges and our partners, the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, in providing an excellent and exciting outcome. Look out for a new Green Team competition in 2021!”