Sustainable action planning in Royal Cornwall Hospital Renal Unit

Frances Mortimer's picture


Resource Description: 

Using the Sustainable Action Planning tools, the team at the Renal Unit quickly identified carbon reduction opportunities, prioritised them, and moved into action. By the end of the first year they achieved:

  • Clear improvements in the patient experience with nearly 50% less waiting, fewer aborted journeys and more self-care.
  • An improved workplace for staff with more time to look after patients, and better attendance.
  • A reduction in healthcare acquired infections 
  • ‘Cost avoidances’ running at £1,200 per employee per year
  • Carbon reductions running at approximately 33 tonnes CO2 eq. per year. 

By the end of the second year it was found the first year measured improvements were maintained and further actions included:

  • Aborted ambulance journeys now zero, making a saving of £1,500 per month or £18,000 a year, increasing 1st year cost avoidance by £3,210.
  • Dressing packs slimmed by a ‘lean’ analysis saving £800 p.a.
  • Cardboard for recycling was reduced by 65% when Fresenius 5L containers were switched to pallet delivery, instead of 4 to a box – avoiding the waste in the first place.
  • Staff attendance was c92% and is now c96% due to a number of improvements including rostering, getting the skills mix right and matching to patient flow.
  • Renal disposables wastage of 5 dialysis sets per week has been reduced to zero by not setting up machines in advance.  This amounts to a saving of £13,000 p.a.
  • By changing direct delivery of renal lines to ‘Blue Diamond’ supplies, topped up from NHS stores Bridgewater, costs of £5,900 are being avoided.

After two years total cost avoidance is running at £57,500 per year.

With 25 employees on the unit this equates to £2,300 per employee per year.

And 52.3 tonnes CO2 equivalent are being saved year on year.

Resource File: 


Royal Cornwall Hospital Renal Unit

Publication date: 

December, 2010

Resource type: 

  • case study

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