Barts Health NHS Trust public private partnership picked up the prize for Energy Efficiencies, at Health Service Journal (HSJ) Efficiency Awards, held at Grosvenor House Hotel, London on Wednesday 25 September.
The energy saving initiative, Operation TLC, is a simple idea that links energy saving actions to patient safety, comfort and dignity, as well as driving down the trust’s energy bill. Everyone from domestic services staff to consultants were given the message “turn off, lights out and close doors”.
With an approach geared first towards the patient experience rather than saving the planet or even saving money, the scheme attracted widespread support. Patients reported less disturbed and better quality sleep, and staff described a calmer working environment and improved patient safety. Cost savings are as much as £100,000 per year.
The inspiration, practical support, and funding for the project came from a public-private-NGO partnership between Barts Health NHS Trust, Skanska, GE, and environmental charity Global Action Plan, provider of the UK’s only environmental behaviour change programmes endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The programme has paid for itself in less than one year, representing a greater return on investment than many other energy efficiency investments.
Nick Golding, news editor of HSJ, said of this year’s awards: “The NHS’s funding is broadly flat but the demands on it are increasing rapidly – unless the health service makes changes it will be overwhelmed by the challenges it faces.
“Projects such as Operation TLC help safeguard the future of the NHS, ensuring its resources are used to their full potential, helping to make savings in a way which enhances, rather than damages, patient care.
“The projects honoured in this year’s HSJ Efficiency Awards can inspire NHS organisations elsewhere, helping to safeguard patient care by enabling the health service to make the best use of its limited resources at all levels of the health service across the country.”
The judges “were thoroughly impressed by the apparent simplicity of this scheme. It is values-based, innovative, replicable and directly benefits patient care. It is an example to the health system how improving quality saves money and the environment.”