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Green healthcare: first infection prevention sustainability conference leads the way
In a world increasingly focused on sustainability, Daniels Healthcare is closely attuned to the healthcare industry’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint.
The IPS Sustainability Special Interest Group (SIG), co-ordinated by Graham Pike Associate Director of Nursing & IPC, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, brings together a community of dedicated infection prevention and control practitioners with industry partners. All are driven by a shared passion for minimising healthcare’s impact on the environment, safeguard the wellbeing of patients and secure a sustainable future for generations to come.
The group’s rapid growth is a testament to the urgency of this issue, making it IPS’ fastest-growing Special Interest Group, boasting over 200 members in just eight months. This surge of interest reinforces that the topic resonates deeply with many, mirroring our own commitment.
With their vision of “reducing to zero the negative impact of IPC practices on climate change and the environment”, their goal is clear. Recognising their mission, we reached out to offer our full support.
A significant sustainability milestone
September marked a significant milestone for the Infection Prevention Society, as the Special Interest Group organised its first Sustainability Conference. With an impressive line-up of speakers, it was well attended by infection prevention control leads and sustainability managers from across the UK.
Discussions highlighted the importance of factoring in our planet when conducting infection prevention and control risk assessments. While the industry is rightly risk-averse, it’s crucial to strike a balance between potential risks and the use of raw materials, mindful of the impact on our plant.
Clare Nash, Head of Clinical Products Management, Jo Taylor, Deputy DIPC and Holly Slyne, Associate DIPC presented compelling case studies on the reuse of items like tourniquets, theatre drapes, aprons, and theatre caps. Their presentations delved into the impact on patients, the environment, and budgets. Such innovative approaches promise cumulative improvements with each incremental change.
Choosing Birmingham as the conference venue also bore significant environmental advantages, because of its excellent transport links and infrastructure. Feedback from the event revealed that an impressive 95% of attendees opted for eco-friendly travel options such as trains or electric vehicles.
Practical insights and transformative change
Steven Boyle, National Sales Manager, Daniels Healthcare, sits on the Sustainability SIG organising committee and played a pivotal role in crafting the inaugural sustainability IPC Route to Net Zero event.
With a wealth of expertise in waste segregation, management, and recycling, Steven is deeply committed to reducing our global footprint.
Reflecting on the event, Steven said: “Being part of the organising committee from inception to a well-rounded sustainability conference, brimming with practical insights and advice, has been rewarding.
“This SIG’s remarkable growth isn’t surprising; sustainability strikes a chord with the IPC community. I’m optimistic about witnessing transformative changes in healthcare practices with our planet at the forefront.
“The NHS’s strategy to achieve net-zero emissions has been outlined, and we’re eager to see the healthcare community’s innovations in meeting these ambitious targets. Events like these serve as catalysts for progress and idea exchange across all areas, trusts, and departments. By working in collaboration, we will amplify our impact and I look forward to the next Sustainability SIG event in 2024.”