Winners announced for the Royal Devon & Exeter Green Ward Competition 2019!

Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Frontline clinical and support staff presented their sustainable quality improvement projects to judges on 17th October.  Marina Morgan, Consultant Microbiologist and one of the judging panel, commented; ‘I was humbled by the sheer enthusiasm of colleagues in all disciplines,  making  real and sustainable changes with genuine tangible benefits for the environment and patients.’

The winners were the estates team led by Emma Harris who submitted a project that had successfully reduced the number of blocked drains, toilets and sluices in the trust so reducing environmental and financial cost and with the potential to improve patient care and staff wellbeing.  Emma gathered high quality data systematically and achieved change through an engagement and poster campaign.  One of the most powerful aspects of the project was the conversations that she had with key members of staff, using photographs taken in the trust to show how of inappropriate disposal of clinical items in drains, toilets and slices was contributing to blockages.

The anaesthetics team were highly commended for their impactful project on reducing the use of nitrous oxide in theatres.  Nitrous oxide is a gas used as part of the anaesthetic during operations and is also a greenhouse gas.  Annually over 315 000 litres of nitrous oxide are used annually in the trust, with an equivalent carbon footprint of more than 26 return flights between London and Sydney, Australia.  The team managed to reduce the use of nitrous oxide by 27% over January to July 2019, in comparison with the previous year; a great achievement.

The catering team were also highly commended for projects on effectively reducing their use of single-use plastic.  The team are leading the way nationally in this important area, acting ahead of the announcement by Simon Stevens in October urging hospitals to ‘slash the use of plastics in hospital canteens’

CSH will now work with the teams to spread and scale-up their projects.

Looking for fresh ideas?  Wanting to take action in your trust to reduce the carbon footprint?

For those looking for fresh ideas for sustainable quality improvement projects take a look at the posters summarising the competition case studies from the Royal Devon & Exeter and the new impact report from the Barts Health Green Ward Competition 2019, all available on the website.  The ‘triple bottom line’ of environmental, social and financial impact is recorded for each project.  All case studies published in the impact reports are sufficiently detailed to allow your team to replicate or adapt the project ideas.

If you would like to commission a Green Ward Competition at your trust then please contact Dr Olivia Bush, Clinical Programme Director,