NHS Supply Chain highlights sustainable practice

As part of NHS England’s plan to reach net carbon zero by 2040, theatres and sterile services are encouraged to review single use items used in surgery. After learning about an initiative at The Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, to replace single use medical holloware with the reusable equivalent, NHS Supply Chain are using the project as a guide for NHS Trusts looking at their own green plans.

The project was undertaken by Anthony Heard, Decontamination and Sterile Services Manager at Princess Alexandra, in conjunction with polyware supplier Warwick SASCo, over a period of 6 months. Warwick SASCo are the supplier of reusable medical hollowware on the NHSSC framework.

The case study lays out the process, challenges, solution and outcomes for the project. It goes on to examine the financial and environmental savings achieved by switching to a more sustainable alternative. It gives a detailed timeline with key actions leading up to implementation and explains how to overcome capacity issues.

The comparative data shows carbon emission reduced by 64 tons from switching just 3 products. 

The paper “The Princess Alexandra Hospitals NHS Trust Achieves 4,000kg Waste Reduction Annually by Switching to Reusable Medical Hollowware” has now been published on NHS Supply Chain’s sustainability website. You can find it here https://www.supplychain.nhs.uk/news-article/the-princess-alexandra-hospitals-nhs-trust-achieves-4000kg-waste-reduction-annually-by-switching-to-reusable-medical-hollowware/

In addition, the study will be presented at an environmental workshop aimed at NHS Trusts in October 2023. The workshop, created by NHS Supply Chain procurement and sustainability leaders, invites NHS Trusts to engage in a dialogue with manufacturers of reusable theatre accessories such as trays and kidney dishes made from a variety of materials. Industry partners will present the benefits of reusable alternatives and answer questions on processing, usage and carbon emissions. 

To attend the online workshop, please contact the Medical Holloware Procurement team NHS Supply Chain or email the organiser wendy.briggs@supplychain.nhs.uk

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