NHS green champions are helping Addenbrooke’s Hospital staff to tackle the climate emergency
Green champions at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie have been helping to inspire their colleagues to take simple steps to help protect the planet.
Three teams have completed all five levels of Addenbrooke’s Hospital’s Think Green Initiative (TGI) challenge, which encourages staff to make small changes to how they work that make a big difference on the environment.
Senior sister Anna Mayhew with specialist nurse Sue Walters have championed reducing, reusing and recycling within the hospital’s Infusion Centre.
Their initiatives include a popular ‘swap box’ that allows staff to exchange unwanted items with each other instead of throwing them away.
Jackie Cort-Monk, lead resuscitation officer, teaches life-support and has brought in a number of simple green initiatives to reduce waste and increase recycling in her department.
These include cutting back on printing, reducing the use of anti-bacterial surface wipes, and setting up a system to make sure single use coffee cups are being recycled.
“Cutting down on paper has made the biggest impact on the way we work. It’s actually made our processes much slicker. So it is a green initiative but saves time and money too,” said Jackie.
Jessy Varghease, a clinical research sister looking after patients on cancer research trials, inspired her colleagues to action when she learnt of the gravity of the climate crisis.
She helped to introduce recycling options, changing how they worked to reduce printing and making sure that equipment was switched off at the end of the working day. Jessy was supported by her team leader, Nisha Kandasmy.
Jessy said the biggest impact came from changing how the team process trial blood samples. By bringing a computer into the sample handling room, they could stop printing out study flowsheets every time they processed a sample.
She’s also proud of introducing recycling across the ward, telling us: “We introduced more recycling bins and can now recycle many things, including packaging from gauze and syringes.”
Jessy now works on the clinical investigation ward and is planning on bringing her green know-how to help spread the message about sustainability with her new team.
Katie Sell, sustainability manager, who supports staff through the TGI programme said: “As part of the challenge, they’ve looked at everything from energy and water use to how we travel, and what we buy and throw away. They truly are leading the way and empowering others within the Trust to do the same.”
The Think Green Initiative is part of a programme of staff engagement that supports the Cambridge University Hospitals Trust’s Action 50 Green Plan.