Ward Housekeepers from the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust have fought off the competition to win a national award at the NHS Sustainability Awards.
The awards, which were held in Leeds on 16 May, are designed to encourage, benchmark and reward action on creating a more sustainable NHS.
Jason Maddocks, Kevin Brown, Michelle Penna, Mary Drinkwater and Amanda Lawrence, who all work as Ward Housekeepers at the RD&E, won the ‘Waste’ award, which recognises trusts that have:
- Reported an increase in recycling of waste, waste segregation, clinical waste, etc.
- Reported a reduction in overall waste in supplies packaging, printing, etc.
- Reported an increase of financial savings made through reductions in waste.
To achieve this, the team came up with a range of simple, achievable changes that could be made at ward level which would reduce waste, reduce cost and have a positive impact on the planet. These included switching from single-use orange juice cartons to reusable tumblers and large cartons, which would result in a saving of over £40,000 per year across all wards. The team also began bulk-buying cereal, biscuits and sugar which would save over £30,000 per year across all wards.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Michelle Penna said: “We are elated to win the award, and honoured to be able to represent the Trust in this way. Hopefully this will be a catalyst for more members of staff to come forward with ideas to improve trust sustainability.”
Chris Tidman, Chief Financial Officer at the RD&E, said: “We are hugely proud of the team for their hard work and determination to make a difference, all while helping to care for patients in their day job. Kevin, Mary, Jason, Amanda and Michelle are a fantastic example of how lots of small changes can make a big impact.”