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Supporting sustainability

Posted on 28th March, 2012

Devon Partnership NHS Trust is joining more than 70 NHS organisations in taking part in the first ever NHS Sustainability Day on 28 March. This is the first time the NHS has celebrated sustainability on a nationally recognised day and the Trust is showing its support by raising awareness of the work it has done and by inviting staff to ‘Do one thing that is sustainable’. Pledges include cycling to work, recycling waste, switching off lights and suggesting ways the Trust could further support sustainability, in addition to the great work it has already achieved. Ralph Hayward, Director of Planning and lead for sustainability in the Trust comments. “We are pleased to support the NHS Sustainability Day and to use this opportunity to celebrate what we have achieved so far. “The NHS in England is one of the largest employers in the world and has a very large carbon footprint.  Devon Partnership NHS Trust has more than 2,000 staff working in around 80 different locations across the county, so the work undertaken to reduce our carbon emissions was challenging, but we are delighted that we have hit our target in being able to reduce our carbon emissions by 10%. “We have also introduced a successful recycling and waste project across the Trust and our New Leaf service at Exminster scooped a prestigious national award for being the Most Innovative NHS Forest site.”
Don Crispin, Manager at New Leaf, explains: “We have always focused heavily on issues around the environment and sustainability and our involvement with The NHS Forest has been perfect for developing some of our projects.  Included in the project at New Leaf is a ‘recovery forest’ where people can plant trees including red oak, ash, maple, wild cherry and holly as part of their recovery.  They are then invited to participate in the maintenance and use of the forest.  Some 200 fruit trees, including apple, pear, plum and cherry, have also been planted in the last two years.  Some of these are used in the production of cloudy apple juice, chutneys and preserves and are sold from the site. A transformation is also taking place at Langdon Hospital in Dawlish in terms of the way that food is sourced and supplied – and much of it is now being grown on-site. Ralph adds:  “We have 70 or so acres of land at Langdon which is now being put to very good use. Seasonal vegetables are grown all year-round and the kitchen team has welcomed the initiative, which is a boon to healthy eating.  The project is also providing an excellent opportunity for people using services at Langdon to become involved:  “A number of people have been working on the farm to help sow, grow and harvest crops, and undertake a host of activities related to farming and the selling of fresh produce.  This is good exercise, great therapy and a rare chance to experience working within a real business and contribute to its success.  Among other things, we are now producing a range of ‘veggie boxes’ crammed full of seasonal, nutritious food and these are already selling well on the site.”
 
Ruth Hawker, Non-executive Director for the Trust concludes: “We know that the majority of the public want the NHS to be more sustainable and we are making a valuable contribution to achieving this goal. What we highlight here are just some of the great initiatives we are involved in, but we are also committed to creating ways of making small changes to working environments that can have a big impact on our staff’s health and wellbeing and the wellbeing of the people who use our services.” For more information about NHS Sustainability Day visit www.nhssustainabilityday.co.uk Ends N156
For further information contact Sharon Berkhout on 01392 663912. 

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