Jenny Lind children’s theatres project embraces sustainability programme
The £6.5m Jenny Lind Hospital Paediatrics complex development is at the forefront of the charge to embrace sustainable practices at NNUH.
Clinical lead Caroline Banson said with a new build, this was an ideal opportunity to embrace new, green initiatives from the beginning. Mrs Banson has been putting a team together and that includes Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist Dr Amy Greengrass, who will lead the sustainability initiative.
Dr Greengrass said: “We will be starting a number of green initiatives which include zero use of non-clinical single use plastic, robust recycling and waste stream management, reducing use of anaesthetic vapours and switching to reusable rather than single use items wherever possible.”
NNUH has already signed the pledge to be carbon net zero for emissions it directly controls by 2040 and for those over which it has influence by 2045. Currently the carbon emissions of the NHS are roughly equivalent to those of Sri Lanka. It already uses 100% renewable resources for its energy supply.
Meanwhile the Jenny Lind Paediatrics complex development will lead the way in exploring reusable sharps bins.
Ray McFee, lead for the theatres improvement programme said at the moment NNUH incinerates thousands of sharps bins every year. A pilot project will be developed to see if it is feasible to bring in reusable sharps bins and if successful it could be rolled out across the entire trust.
Amy added that the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital is also keen to embrace a more proactive stance on recycling by having dedicated recycling bins for clean recyclable waste such as the packaging that gets thrown away in clinical waste bins in theatres.
She said: “This is something we have to embrace now. We have to put latest innovations in place where we can. We owe it to the next generation – our children. We know we have a climate crisis and if we do nothing it will be beyond our ability to fix it. We will be ruining the future of the very people we, as a children’s hospital, are here to look after.”
Measures already adopted or in the pipeline across NNUH:
• Having no single use non-clinical plastics; NNUH has signed the NHS Plastics Pledge
• Exploring the possibility of recycling bins for clean recyclable waste in clinical areas
• Reusable rather than disposable items where appropriate such as surgeons’ gowns, cubical curtains
• Refillable surgical scrub to minimise plastic waste
• LED lighting with timers/motion sensors
• Computers on timers to switch off overnight/weekends ie when not in use
• Motion sensor taps to minimise water waste
• Monitoring of water/energy use within the complex to avoid unnecessary usage
• Staff education/empowerment to make those working there aware of the climate crisis and what we can do to help
The £6.5m project is a two-phased programme providing a twin paediatric theatre suite, a recovery unit, as well as associated supporting facilities. The unit will also be fitted out with new clinical equipment to contemporary standards, helping to cement the trust’s position as a major provider of specialist paediatric care.
The new team will carry out theatre procedures initially over five days a week, including orthopaedics before six day routine operating is introduced which includes Saturday working.
Phase two will see the creation of a paediatric ED department along with six day-procedure beds.