Hospital’s ‘homemade’ power saves £400k

CASH-STRAPPED hospital bosses in Southampton have come up with a pioneering way to save hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

As energy bills continue to soar, Southampton General Hospital has started to produce homemade electricity that brings a saving of £400,000 a year.

The new energy unit not only saves the hospital vital money, but also boosts its green credentials, slashing carbon emissions by 4,000 tonnes.

The two megawatt combined heat and power generator (CHP) installed on site will also allow University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) to sell excess electricity back to the supply company.

The drive to go green comes as the NHS as a whole has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions – of which the trust produces 58,500 tonnes a year – by 80 per cent by 2050.

This is one of many green initiatives that the public will be able to find out more about on Thursday, when the hospital hosts an action-packed event to mark NHS Sustainability Day.

The hospital’s very own “green guru” Dr Tom Pierce, a consultant anaesthetist, will host a stand promoting respiratory inhaler recycling as part of GlaxoSmithKline’s Complete the Cycle scheme and highlight his drive to improve sustainability in clinical areas.

His work has led to the introduction of a programme to wash and recycle single-use steel theatre instruments which previously cost £628 per tonne to dispose of. This process now earns the trust £100 per tonne and saves 2,500kg of CO2.

Sarah Jones, event coordinator and an assistant project manager at UHS, said: “We hope this event gives our patients, staff, visitors and members of the public a chance to see the great work going on behind the scenes across our hospitals.”

The NHS Sustainability Day event at Southampton General Hospital takes place tomorrow from 10am.

Source: Melanie Adams, Southern Daily Echo