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Hospital trust has once again been recognised for its commitment for corporate social responsibility

Thursday, 07 October, 2021
Hospital trust has once again been recognised for its commitment for corporate social responsibility

A leading north east hospital and community trust has received champion accreditation for its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), in a national awards ceremony.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has won the championship title in the prestigious CSR Accredited Companies category at the International CSR Excellence Awards 2021.


This latest achievement comes almost a year after the trust was awarded as the first health organisation in the UK to receive gold accreditation for corporate social responsibility (CSR).


As well as this, the trust’s project deaf awareness co-ordinator, Margaret Robertson was awarded the Bronze Innovation Award for her work with the D/deaf community, making Northumbria the first NHS trust to have been awarded this.


Sir James Mackey, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, said: “I am immensely proud that the hard work of colleagues across the organisation has been recognised at a national level. It is testament to the dedication and passion that the Northumbria Healthcare workforce show every single day, and I am privileged to work alongside them.


“This accolade reinforces our commitment to delivering high quality and compassionate patient care and experience, while showing strong leadership and continuously pushing the boundaries, 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, -an amazing achievement”.


The trust’s Manufacturing Hub in Seaton Delaval, established at the height of the pandemic, is an example of the direction of travel. Creating 60 jobs and 10 apprenticeships at a time when the economy was under severe pressure, it ensured continuity of PPE supply for ourselves and NHS colleagues while at the same time boosting local supply chains.


Across the organisation, recent figures show that of the more than 300 Northumbria staff currently on apprenticeships, more than a third (35%) are aged between 16 and 25, a third are from areas among the top 20% most deprived in England, and a quarter are from rural areas, but there is a target to increase the number of apprentices by 30% over three years.


Environmental sustainability has already been a focus for a number of years, with carbon emissions from energy use down 41% over the past five years, while waste emissions were reduced by 50%. The new facility for sterilising medical equipment on the Northumbria hospital site in Cramlington as well as the new hospital in Berwick will be net-zero developments in terms of carbon emissions.


For a number of years, Northumbria Healthcare has also played a key role in local and regional efforts to focus on public health, inequalities and ensuring the population lives well for longer, with the latest addition to this journey being the creation of the Trust’s health inequalities programme board, chaired by leading public health consultant Jonny Pearson-Stuttard.


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.


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.


Brenda Longstaff, head of the Northumbria Bright Charity added: “Our charity ethos incorporates the fundamentals of corporate social responsibility and is an important element of what we do when serving our local communities. To have been able to accept this award on behalf of the entire trust really feels like a fantastic achievement.”