Bradford and Bristol Royal share the 2013 Green Nephrology Award

Frances Mortimer's picture

The 2013 Green Nephrology Award (for sustainability initiatives in kidney units) went to joint winners, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and Bradford Teaching Hospitals.

Both kidney units demonstrated significant environmental as well as financial savings, while maintaining the quality of care for dialysis patients. 

Dan Speakman (centre) receiving his award from patient representative, Chris Stait & Dr Donal O'Donoghue.

Charge Nurse, Dan Speakman, received the award on behalf of the Bristol children's unit, for his project to reuse reject water from the unit's RO water purification system - saving approx 13 million litres of water and £15,000 per year. Inspired by the example of other units in the Green Nephrology network, Dan first proposed the project four years ago, but the logistics of installing a new grey water system in the building led to the idea being shelved. However, his persistence paid off and a new solution was found: diverting the water to the hospital boiler room, where it will be turned into steam.


Chris Stait & Donal O'Donoghue with members of the Green Nephrology Advisory Group - presenting the Bradford award.

Meanwhile the Bradford Renal team was congratulated on their initiative to reduce the consumption of water, acid concentrate and bicarbonate for dialysis.  This was achieved by identifying patients suitable for the use of the dialysate "autoflow" facility on the Fresenius 5008 dialysis machine, which cuts down on waste by matching the flow of dialysate fluid to patient blood flows. The team calculated annual savings of £11,500, 3.7 tonnes CO2 equivalents and 1.1 million litres water from a 9% overall reduction in dialysate use.

Dr. John Stoves, Consultant Nephrologist in Bradford, said: "We continue to find that a multidisciplinary team approach to green service developments can deliver sustainable environmental and financial savings whilst maintaining or improving the quality of patient care.”

The awards were presented by Dr Donal O'Donoghue (National Clinical Director for Kidney Care 2007-13) at this year's Green Nephrology Summit on 25 September. Delegates also heard from last year's winners, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Trust Waste Officer, James Dixon, described how they had invested last year's £500 prize in compact dual bins for waste segregation in cramped settings, a tree and plaque to go outside the renal unit, and webcams for use by patients on home dialysis.

Dr O'Donoghue said "Green Nephrology has been one of the great successes of the national kidney care programme. The Kidney community has shown what can be achieved and the debate is now about applying the principles that Green nephrology has established across the wider health and care systems."

Download the posters from the 2013 winning award entries here.

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