Survey finds over 65% of sustainability managers in the NHS have limited spend

The Progress of sustainability in the NHS survey today releases its results which include an improvement of 20% when it comes to senior engagement for sustainability within NHS Trusts. The survey, which was completed by 47 NHS Trusts, also found that 33% did not have a Sustainable Development Management Plan in place. Improvements can be seen compared to 2018 through the rise of support from procurement which is now at 50% compared to 20% last year. Key findings can be found below and a full summary is available for download by clicking this link: NHS Sustainability Progress Survey 2019

Key findings include:
  • + Over 87% of those who completed were not the main decision maker when it comes to spend on environmental projects
  • + Over 67% who responded stated they had a budget of less than £20k to spend per annum on sustainability
  • + 33% claimed they did not have an SDMP in place which was worked towards. We believe that there is an estimated 25% of NHS Trusts (235 in total) that dont have an SDMP. We have called for these to be mandatory to NHS England and the SDU, see here
  • + Over 50% do say they are getting significant support from senior management which is an improvement since our survey of 2018 which stated 70% said they did not. This indicates a top down approach towards environment may be taking shape
  • + 50% say that Procurement works with them and they feel reassured by this support. This is a huge improvement on previous years, but still means 50% are not collaborating as effectively as they could. We have contacted NHS Supply Chain to share this and they are responding to myself. We have also had contact with Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership who have outlined a serious commitment to procuring sustainably and to speak about these plans at one of our roadshows. Their commitment is staggering and could be a game changer for the wider NHS.
  • + In terms of what support respondents would like to see from NHS England, the following comments have been selected to showcase a diverse response:
  1.  Make it the law that all NHS trusts have to have a sustainability plan          
  2.  More flexible approach to procurement. Things change and update regularly, procurement tender are 3-5 years. 
  3. Sustainability accountability to be given a mandatory status      
  4.  I would love to see more available funding so that we can get innovative at a time when we need to be investigating alternative power sources, battery power, more air source and ground source etc

These findings will form part of the ongoing NHS Sustainability Campaign strategy in 2019 and 2020 which includes roadshows addressing specific barriers to progress such as Procurement, Plastics and Clinical Engagement. Please sign up to our newsletter for regular updates, information, guidance and support.

We are designed by you working for you to drive sustainability and support your professional development.