Kettering General Hospital

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Kettering General Hospital (KGH) is one of two District General Hospitals serving Northamptonshire and neighbouring communities including Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

Its vision is to “maintain an excellent reputation as a safe healthcare provider recognised by patients for delivering services of the highest possible quality, is financially sustainable and is a place where people want to work and feel justifiably proud of.”

Almost 3,700 people work in the hospital and it cares for over 371,000 patients a year. Like all hospitals it is a busy, complex organisation which plays a crucial role in the health and well-being of the community it serves.

Minimising the impact on the environment

But even in the midst of this complexity and focus on patient care, KGH also takes great care to minimise its impact on the environment. Caring for the environment of patients is of paramount importance – every NHS patient should be cared for with compassion and dignity in a clean, safe environment – but what we are talking about here is the wider environment, for example the carbon footprint of the hospital and the way its waste streams are managed.

The hospital was an early supporter of the ‘closed loop economy’ creating the first Eco-office with blinds, carpets, chairs, desks, lights and shelving all made from recycled material. Supplied by Flute, this innovative and highly practical use of recycled content is illustrative of KGH’s deep commitment to sustainable working practices.

Initiatives to minimise waste

Cawleys is delighted to be KGH’s chosen waste management partner, helping the trust to further improve its sustainability and develop a wide range of initiatives to minimise waste and contribute to the closed loop economy.

Cawleys began work for KGH in October 2014 and since that time has reduced the amount of waste which the hospital sends to landfill to zero, and significantly increased the proportion of waste which is recycled and sent to second life uses.

Sustainability Manager, Robin Packman, wants to see KGH become a case study for environment best practice in the hospital sector, and through Cawleys, this vision is being translated into reality. In the long term the hospital will have its own mini recycling facility on site, able to sort and segregate waste in house to achieve maximum possible value from recyclate material at minimum costs

New bespoke waste “chimneys” around the site introduce the importance of segregating and storing different waste streams, and training programmes will help staff understand and engage with recycling actions.

As well as innovative approaches to the management of the ‘traditional’ waste streams of paper, plastic, glass and metal, Cawleys also handles all the hazardous waste from the hospital which can range from fluorescent strip lighting, to fridges, sharps and medicinal chemicals.

Food waste is a further waste stream which is also itemised and handled by Cawleys, as is waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) because the more individual waste streams can be segregated, the greater proportion of waste can be recycled and contribute to the closed loop economy.

Personal service

Despite the size of the operation at KGH Cawleys provides a personal service, with regular monthly staff meetings and reports. Responsive reporting is important to the hospital so that it can monitor both the volume of waste streams being produced and processed, and also the costs, to keep both to a minimum.

Robin Packman said, “I want Kettering General hospital to be the industry leader in sustainable working practices, and with Cawleys we are well on our way to achieving this.”