Hospital trust first in UK to receive gold accreditation for corporate social responsibility
A north east hospital and community trust is the first health organisation in the UK to receive gold accreditation for corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will join other leading companies including Morgan Sindall Property Services Ltd, Buckinghamshire New University and Birmingham Business Park in achieving this prestigious status of excellence.
Organisations are measured against ‘four pillars’ of CSR, including environment, workplace, community and philanthropic. The accreditation is granted by leading UK based company, CSR-A, who deliver a global standard for CSR.
Accredited organisations can achieve a three-year bronze, silver or gold status and go through a process of extensive and in-depth scrutiny by a CSR-A expert panel made up of 20 judges from across the public and private sector. Each application is assessed by three judges and accredited organisations have an annual CSR health check.
Being environmentally conscious underpins the Northumbria Healthcare’s activity. As a result, carbon emissions relating to energy have been reduced by 40% by the trust since 2007. This equates to 10,468 tonnes of CO2.
Other green schemes include reducing water consumption, increasing recycling and use of biodegradable products, encouraging staff to cycle to work or use electric vehicles, installing electric car charging points, having a standard sustainability standard for all contractors who work with the trust and a sustainability impact assessment as part of procurement. Waste management procedures are also continuously reviewed and improved.
During 2019/20 more than 48,500 electric car charging sessions were recorded, saving more than 240 tonnes of CO2, and the trust recycled 309 tonnes of material diverted from its waste streams.
Northumbria Healthcare’s 11,000 strong workforce is the trust’s most valued asset. The focus and effort that goes into staff health and wellbeing and developing and retaining staff is testament to this. The last NHS staff survey showed that the trust scored highest nationally for equality, diversity and inclusion, health and wellbeing and morale. 94% of those that completed it feel that their role makes a difference to patients, impacting on job satisfaction and 81% said they would recommend the organisation as a place to work.
More than 77% of externally recruited apprentices, for both clinical and non-clinical roles, gain employment within the trust. The trust’s approach to supporting diversity in recruitment is demonstrated by its ‘step into health’ programme which supports service leavers, veterans and their families who are considering joining the NHS. They undertake an unpaid placement to gain experience.
Sir James Mackey, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, said: “I am immensely proud of achieving gold accreditation and being the only health organisation in the UK to do so demonstrates what an amazingly dedicated, skilful and passionate team I am privileged to work alongside.
“This accolade is testament to our commitment to delivering high quality and compassionate patient care and experience, while showing strong leadership and continuously pushing the boundaries and striving to be the best we can be. It also very clearly highlights the importance that we place on being immersed in the local communities we serve, not only to improve health and wellbeing, but to have a positive impact both socially and economically. Thank you to every member of Northumbria Healthcare staff, what an amazing achievement!”
The trust is very aware that it operates within and has a significant social impact on local communities across North Tyneside and Northumberland. Its 800 volunteers represent how connected the organisation is with the local communities and the eagerness of people to give something back and support the NHS.
Other community initiatives include supporting all aspects of the arts through the ‘healing arts’ programme where local artists, singers and dancers perform on wards or exhibit their work, improving hospital environments. The charity also works closely with schools, colleges and universities as well as professional artists’ networks. The arts programme received a gold award at the International CSR Excellence Awards in 2019 which led to the trust being awarded ‘global leader status’.
Another very impactful partnership is that with WAG & Co. which enables professional assessed volunteers and their dogs to visit older dog lovers in their own homes or in care settings, including hospitals.
These are examples of a very varied range of charity projects funded by the trust’s own charity, Bright Northumbria. The charity invests nearly £900,000 a year to benefit staff, patients and local communities.
Forming the philanthropic pillar of the accreditation, Bright Northumbria also has an international arm which works in partnership with Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, a hospital in Tanzania for more than 20 years. The charity supports international volunteers, teams of healthcare professionals to visit the hospital to undertake healthcare projects working alongside their Tanzanian colleagues.
Richard Collins, Founder and Managing Director at CSR-A, said: “Achieving a gold CSR accreditation is an exceptional achievement and shows that a significant effort has been implemented across the CSR-A four pillars of environment, workplace, community and philanthropy. Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has enriched the quality of people’s lives by investing in their social responsibility to improve the world for future generations, by reducing the negative impact they have on the environment and by building a better and cohesive society. There is no doubt that the trust has had a positive impact on communities that they work and live in.”
Chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Sir James Mackey is proud to announce that the organisation has received the gold accreditation for corporate social responsibility.
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For further information on CSR accreditation visit: https://csr-accreditation.co.uk/ or call 01494 444 494.