UKKA/CSH Group Scholar's Study Report 2022/23: Embedding Sustainability in the Kidney Field

Ben Whittaker
Ben Whittaker • 21 February 2024

Case Study report completed as part of the UK Kidney Association and Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Kidney Care Sustainability Group Scholars Programme.

Scholar: Dr Rosa M Montero

Key message / aim
Increase awareness and action changes to introduce sustainability to the renal department, actively working towards the Trusts’ green plan agenda to move this forward. Expand and introduce sustainability in all courses at the University and support changes nationally to embed sustainability in the renal and transplant community.

Scholarship projects detailed in this report

Acute dialysis unit at SGH and satellite units:

  • Waste management
  • Online priming haemodialysis lines (full report here)
  • Going paperless on the unit
  • Dialysing nearer to home (full report here
  • Simplifying fistula on/off pack 

Consultation about sustainability of new renal build

Education on sustainability in the Trust and university

National sustainability leadership roles

Increasing knowledge and awareness of the triple bottom line.
Patient outcomes: Changes in service that have resulted in maintaining patient safety, improving quality of life in terms of patient travel to dialysis units.
Population outcomes: Scaling up of changes across the country has more benefits by providing treatment closer to home whilst also maintaining a healthier population by informing patients how their lifestyle and disease treatment can affect the environment. Carbon calculator and public education during green week.
Environmental impact: Across the different projects there has been a reduction in waste and a review of services and pathways that may implement change. Nationally looking at structures that can be modified to have a positive impact on the environment has been taken on board through working groups allowing changes to happen at scale.
Social impact: Ensuring there are no health inequalities in introducing sustainable changes. Encouraging and supporting people to talk about sustainability and getting involved has health benefits eg active travel but also improves mental health and wellbeing with increasing green spaces. Empowering staff and public to make/propose changes benefit society.
Financial impacts: In the majority of cases there are changes that are cost savings or cost neutral. With those that are cost neutral being areas that could be adopted. Many small changes lead to an accumulative gain hence a bottom up approach and top down approach may lead to cost savings.

Next steps
To continue to provide education at different levels of the institution and create an expectation that sustainability has been thought of and incorporated in daily work and new proposals. Support and grow green champions locally in the Trust and University but also nationally. Work nationally to embed sustainability in work and provide sessions at conferences on this work. Sharing sustainable practice and create resources that can be used or referred to be others in the community. Apply for sustainable funding to support development or introduction of sustainable pathways.

See attached report for further details

Resource author(s)
Montero RM
Resource publishing organisation(s) or journal
Centre for Sustainable Healthcare
Resource publication date
October 2023

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