An innovative project, aimed at minimising the carbon footprint associated with anaesthetic gases in healthcare, won the prestigious Towards Net Zero award at the 2023 HSJ Awards.
Anaesthetic gases are used in many medical procedures such as major operations and surgery, and have a negative impact on both air quality and the environment when released into the atmosphere, so colleagues across the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been looking at how anaesthetic services can be more environmentally friendly.
Pete Ford, Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Lead for Business Innovation and Sustainability, has been spearheading a number of initiatives around this, including discontinuing the use of some gases and increasing the use of intravenous anaesthesia where appropriate to reduce the use of inhalation gases.
To date, the project has achieved an impressive 80.6% reduction in Nitrous Oxide, 93% reduction in Desflurane usage, and a 57% reduction in the total use of anaesthetic gases in procedures.
The judging panel found this project to be “an exceptional example of combined behavioural change and innovation in a clinical setting, demonstrating collaboration both internally and externally.”
Pete and fellow Consultant Anaesthetist Fiona Martin attended the 2023 HSJ Awards on Thursday 16 November and were presented the Towards Net Zero award by Heidi Barnard, Head of Sustainability at NHS Supply Chain.
Pete said: “We’re totally thrilled to have won this award. We are aware of the prestige and positivity that goes hand in hand with winning the Towards Net Zero award at the HSJ Awards – and the feel-good factor extends beyond our team, impacting on our colleagues right across the organisation. When it comes to the green agenda, we have shown what can be done if like-minded individuals pull in the same direction. This is the very beginning of our collective journey to net zero.”
The Royal Devon was also shortlisted for two other awards. The team behind the development of a new equipment bag for community nurses was shortlisted for the Primary and Community Care Innovation of the Year award, and the team leading on a rapid genome sequencing service for critically unwell babies and children, based in the Exeter Genomics Laboratory, was shortlisted for the Acute Sector Innovation of the Year award.
Chris Tidman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Royal Devon, said: “It’s fantastic that Pete and his team have won this award and we’re so proud that the Royal Devon has been recognised as a leading Trust in the drive towards net zero within the NHS.
“A huge congratulations to our other teams who were shortlisted for awards as well. Their brilliant innovations help highlight how we’re always looking at new ways to improve the care that we deliver.”
Last updated: November 22, 2023