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Northumbria Healthcare lands national award for clinical sustainability efforts

Thursday, 02 December, 2021
Northumbria Healthcare lands national award for clinical sustainability efforts

The efforts of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to reduce its environmental impact across its clinical activity have been recognised with a national award.

The Trust, which runs hospitals and community services in Northumberland and North Tyneside, won the Clinical category at the virtual Sustainability Partnership Awards on Tuesday, November 23.

The Sustainability Partnership Awards showcase and recognise those organisations and NHS trusts that have strived to implement sustainable change. The awards aim to benchmark the achievements and progress being made across the healthcare landscape to make the world a greener place.

Northumbria Healthcare’s submission, by clinical lead for sustainability, Dr Elaine Winkley, highlighted all of the work that has been taking place across the Trust’s clinical teams over the past two years, in a range of specialties – theatres, critical care, endoscopy, respiratory, maternity, pharmacy, radiology, labs and A&E.

Dr Winkley, who is also chair of the North East’s pioneering Faculty of Sustainable Healthcare, said: “I’m incredibly proud that the Trust has won this award as I’m very passionate about our ongoing efforts to become more sustainable not just in areas such as energy use and transport, but across the clinical side of the organisation as well.

“We have only been successful because this is a team effort – with buy-in from staff at all levels – and there is a firm commitment to continue to work together, as this is the only way that we will make a significant difference in reducing our environmental impact.”

Following feedback from a staff survey on sustainability, Northumbria Healthcare has also launched a Green Champions scheme, which has seen dozens of staff volunteer to get involved to help the Trust on its journey as it bids to reduce carbon emissions and its overall environmental footprint, minimise waste through reuse, recycling and energy production, and introduce and promote green initiatives wherever possible, under the banner of Sustainable Northumbria.

The champions cover a wide range of jobs, with nurses, GPs, consultants, anaesthetists and admin and management posts all represented, and they come from across the Trust’s various hospitals and offices as well as the Northumbria Manufacturing and Innovation Hub.

Their role will include helping to promote campaigns and events, encouraging colleagues to take part, obtaining feedback and suggestions from staff on sustainability initiatives and providing sustainability updates at team meetings.

The Trust first appointed an energy and sustainability officer back in 2007, but refreshed its commitment to sustainability earlier this year with the launch of Our Community Promise, which has Action on Environment as one of its six key pillars, given the importance that environmental factors also have on our long-term health.

To find out more about what Northumbria Healthcare has already achieved and plans to do in the future, check out its Sustainability Report 2021 online at

Media contact

Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer

Benjamin.O’Connell@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.ukor 07833 046680.