Operating theatre staff win environmental competition after increasing recycling
A massive increase in recycling in operating theatres and more energy-efficient use of lighting on elderly care wards were singled out as examples of carbon-cutting best practice at Whittington Hospital in London.
The work of three of the hospital’s departments was heralded as part of a recent Green Awareness competition run as part of Whittington Health Green Week and
NHS Sustainability Day.
The competition was created by Frances Mortimer from the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, and each ward was invited to a one-hour workshop to find out more about what could be done to reduce their carbon footprint.
The team from Operating Theatre One put together a presentation and information posters to alert staff to energy-saving measures. They also took steps to improve recycling facilities, leading to an increase in recycling from zero bags to 60. The team also introduced monthly spot checks and quarterly reviews to monitor progress.
Ifor Ward demonstrated its commitment by creating an information board, accessible to staff, patients and visitors alike. This highlighted what the ward was doing to promote recycling, including increasing the number of batteries re-used, and gave examples of future projects.
The third ward singled out for praise was Montuschi, where staff have begun turning down the lights, creating a more therapeutic environment for the elderly patients and reducing energy use.
All teams were judged on both the impact of the projects and the approach they have taken. This included issues such as how much carbon they have saved and if there were any additional benefits, such as financial savings, improvements to patient care or increased awareness of climate change.
The operating team finally took the top prize of £500, which was donated by Professor Hugh Montgomery, a clinician at the hospital and an expert in climate change. The team also won an energy monitor to pilot how effective they are in reducing energy use, and a mini digital TV.