Newcastle Hospitals’ work to tackle the climate emergency has been recognised by the HSJ after winning the Towards Net Zero Award at a ceremony last week (Thursday 17 November).
The 2022 event reflects the HSJ Awards’ 42-year heritage of sharing best practice, improving patient outcomes and celebrating better service – but most importantly, in providing a well-deserved thank you to the health and social care sector.
With 1,040 entries across 25 categories, the awards applaud the “high-flyers” of healthcare excellence in both the NHS and its partners who strive to improve outcomes and services for both patients and staff alike. Three new awards were introduced for 2022; Covid Vaccination Programme Award; Innovation and Improvement in Reducing Healthcare Inequalities Award; Performance Recovery Award.
Judges said: “Newcastle Hospitals has taken a strategic leadership position to tackle the impact it has on climate breakdown, not just relating to the threat that the climate crisis presents to the planet but also to health, wealth and wellbeing locally.
“With the NHS representing approximately 5 per cent of the UK’s total carbon footprint – around 27 million tonnes of carbon each year – we have to acknowledge that we are a significant part of the problem, said the trust. The organisation displayed a mature proposition and showcased that it is being led from the top. It was a standout application with clear evidence across the spread of the organisation and ISC footprint.”
Newcastle Hospitals is well known for its award-winning Shine (Sustainable Healthcare in Newcastle) programme and was the first healthcare organisation in the world to declare a climate emergency, in recognition that the climate emergency is a health emergency. The Trust is also committed to the ambitious goal of becoming a net-zero carbon organisation by 2030. In 2021, Newcastle Hospitals became the first in the UK to make use of climate friendly gas and air technology after Newcastle mum Kaja Gersinska used it as pain relief during labour.
Most recently the Trust partnered with Global Action Plan to pilot a region-wide project aimed at identifying opportunities to drive meaningful change around air quality improvement. As part of this Newcastle Hospitals has committed to, amongst other things, ensuring all employees will be given basic sustainability training and that green procurement will be embedded across the organisation. In June 2022 the project formed the basis of an ICS Clean Air Framework which has now available to other ICS regions across the country.
Associate Director – Sustainability at Newcastle Hospitals, James Dixon said: “We’re extremely proud to receive this award, in what was a very competitive field. This is fantastic recognition of the hard work undertaken by our green champions, Sustainability Team and everyone at Newcastle Hospitals who has supported delivery of the actions within our Climate Emergency Strategy.”
HSJ Editor Alastair McLellan adds; “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Newcastle Hospitals on being named the winner of the Towards Net Zero award at this year’s HSJ Awards.
“Our awards programme are not just a celebration of success stories but also a platform to shape the future of the NHS. It is always so encouraging and heartening to see projects adapting, developing and improving their services with the vision of providing the very best in treatment and for their patients across the country.”
He adds; “HSJ Awards shine a light on the outstanding efforts and achievements across the sector. Congratulations again on your brilliant efforts, I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for you and your colleagues!”
For more information on the HSJ Awards visit: https://awards.hsj.co.uk/