News, NHS trust

Northumbria Healthcare’s action plan to tackle climate change shares “digital by default” target

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has published a sustainability action plan to support aims to reach net zero for carbon emissions by 2040, with “digital by default” listed as a key target.

As an ongoing objective, the action plan sets out a pledge to monitor ongoing savings from the Digital by Default project, which aims to reduce use of paper “and other savings associated with digital appointment and patient letters”.

With regards to buildings and estate, the trust shares a target to install data loggers on water meters at various sites in order to identify opportunities to reduce water consumption, with this action set to happen by April 2024. Additionally, the plan highlights how the trust will work with NPC to gather energy data which will then be utilised to create a baseline carbon footprint.

On journeys relating to the trust and its services, it shares plans to conduct a trust-wide survey which utilises the Mobilityways platform to establish pre- and post-pandemic commuting behaviours, “with the goal of setting targets of modal shift” across the organisation. Also using Mobilityways, Northumbria Healthcare intends to utilise the platform scoping and personal travel plan capabilities to develop understanding of which staff members have the option to walk, cycle or use public transport, so that incentivisation schemes can potentially be explored.

Another way in which the trust plans to use digital tools to support sustainable targets is through the launch of the Liftshare app, with the aim of reducing the number of single occupancy car journeys.

On the topic of people, the action plan highlights how e-learning around building a net zero NHS will be rolled out to all trust staff and subsidiaries, with a minimum target of 85 percent compliance; and for suppliers, website communications around working with the trust will undergo a sustainability-focused refresh.

Wayne Daley, head of corporate and social responsibility at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, comments: “Sustainability is a key focus of our Community Promise and we’re thrilled to be part of this new action plan. The commitments made in the new action plan will not only benefit the trust but also staff, patients and our communities.”

Read the action plan in full here.

Earlier this week, we shared the news that over 1,000 patients have been enrolled on a care platform by Northumbria Healthcare, connecting them with their surgeon and care team to provide support through joint replacement surgery preparation and recovery.

Also from the region, last summer we reported on the news that Northumbria University introduced an interactive platform described as a “pioneering immersive wellbeing environment” for health and care students.