Staff at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustStaff at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RBCH) have been recognised for their efforts in reducing the Trust’s environmental impact.

Green Impact champions from 10 departments across the Trust have introduced green initiatives and worked to improve understanding and support among staff. They received certificates and awards at a presentation lunch at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

The national Green Impact Scheme is run by the National Union of Students (NUS) and incorporates many aspects of sustainability, such as waste, water, travel, and energy. RBCH is one of the first NHS organisations in the country to take part in the scheme, which showcases positive outcomes from changes in environmental practice. It also allows the Trust to act as an example of how environmentally-friendly practises could be embedded across other NHS organisations.

Some initiatives are common to many organisations, such as introducing double-sided printing as a default setting and awareness campaigns to turn electrical equipment and lighting off when not in use.

Other initiatives are specific to a hospital setting, such as the pharmacy department which won an Innovation Award for its initiatives, including introducing recycling of medication packaging and ensuring that any unused medications are reissued where possible.

The Trust’s total energy consumption, relative to hospital floor area, has reduced by 24% from its 2007/08 baseline. RBCH became a ‘zero waste to landfill’ hospital this year and also generates 15% of its energy on site via three solar panel installations and low pressure hot water produced as a by-product from the on-site incinerator. The Trust’s restaurants also use fully compostable food containers, rather than single use plastic containers.

Awards were presented by BJ Waltho, Associate Director of Operations. She said: “Our Green Impact champions have had fantastic results, which is not only great for the environment but for our patients as well. All of the money we save through our efforts to spend less on waste or energy all goes back into patient care.”

Nicola Abbott, senior pharmacy technician, won one of the Environmental Hero Awards for being the ‘driving force’ behind the pharmacy’s green involvement. Nicola said: “I’m delighted that pharmacy has done so well. There are 100 people in the department and our success with our green initiatives is a reflection of how well we all work together.

“Thousands are saved each year by recycling medication packaging and making use of unused medication, but that is just one of many things that we’ve introduced.”

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