PSS AWARDS WINNER: NHS – Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Introduction to Sustainability at Barnsley Hospital

Barnsley Hospital is a small acute Trust with a big ambition to become truly sustainable. We are fully committed to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint through our Estates Strategy, Board-approved Sustainable Development Management and Action Plans’ (SDMP & SDAP). Since 2011 when we published our first SDMP, sustainability has been at the heart of everything we do. We have been making good progress against the objectives we set ourselves with a focus on thirteen main workstreams:

  • Energy & Carbon Management
  • Procurement, Pharmacy & Food
  • Low Carbon Transport & Access
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Designing the Built Environment
  • Organisation & Workforce Development
  • Role of Partnerships & Networks
  • Governance & Compliance
  • Finance
  • Information Technology
  • Communications


In order to become a low carbon sustainable hospital we need to ensure appropriate behaviours are encouraged in our staff, patients, visitors and suppliers. Raising awareness through education and communicating progress against our targets is vital to the success of achieving our sustainability ambitions.

Our communications team promote the sustainability agenda to increase engagement through a variety of media. Positive, systematic and regular internal and external communication of our environmental sustainability activities are essential and key to creating an environment where sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do. We have developed a Sustainability Communications Plan that delivers on-going initiatives that capture attention and are persuasive. Some of our activities include:

  • NHS Sustainability Day: an annual event held every year with themes on energy efficiency, water, waste and travel helping connect directly with stakeholders
  • Newsletters, Trust Magazine & Intranet: progress is shared through regular bulletins
  • Campaigns: campaigns are run on a variety of themes throughout the year to increase engagement and behavioural change
  • Workshops: regular events such as Dr Bike Clinics, CycleBoost, and E-Bike loans scheme for staff
  • External Links: Trust news is shared with local/regional media.
  • AGM: stakeholders are invited to attend our annual meeting where we apprise them about our achievements and progress.


The NHS budget is not rising in-line with increasing costs to deliver services. By delivering healthcare in a more sustainable way using integrated models of care, promoting prevention and supporting people to stay in their own homes as long as possible, we can reduce emergency admissions and ensure that our resources are focused on delivering the best possible health outcomes.

We recognise the major role we play in promoting and embedding sustainability across the Trust. We have a responsibility to our staff, patients and the wider community to act in a responsible manner. Sustaining a modern health service therefore requires a strong link between the three tiers of sustainable development. We apply a triple bottom line approach taking a holistic view of all activities including social, economic and environmental considerations.

Examples of some of our work include:

  • Built Environment: we are committed to creating an effective and efficient Estate by placing great emphasis on trying to ensure that our buildings and the way we operate them are sustainable and aim to minimise the negative impact we might have on the environment. We maximise the use of our space to increase efficiency through our Space Utilisation programme
  • Procurement: the environmental impact of what and how we procure and dispose of goods and services represents a significant part of our activities. The decisions we make and the processes we follow reduce the environmental effect and deliver both carbon and financial savings
  • Financial and Carbon Saving: our investment decisions are made with consideration to highest ROI, shortest payback as well as carbon savings.

We deliver our services in a cost effective and efficient manner without compromising quality. Our vision for the estate is one of a sustainable and effective facility that nurtures patient care through the delivery of a safe, quality environment that is appropriate to the clinical services provided.


The Trust recognises that we cannot address the impact of climate change alone and only by building strong partnerships we can share good practice and drive improvements with stakeholders at local, regional and national level and deliver a sustainable and low carbon service. Our strategic vision is “to be the best integrated healthcare organisation of choice for our local communities and beyond”.

The Trust Security & Emergency Resilience Service have pioneered sustainability and adaptation to climate change in multi-agency exercises involving a number of key resilience partners including police, fire service, local authority, ambulance service, NHS England and NHS Protect. Learning from these exercises is included in severe weather and heatwave planning to ensure the security and safety of staff and patients. The Head of Service is a past member of the national Adaptation to Climate Change Committee hosted by central government.

Working in Partnership is one of our four core Trust objectives which form the main drivers of our Trust’s sustainability. Our SDMP sets out our Trust’s expectations:

  • Work with local, regional and national groups and organisations to deliver shared sustainability goals
  • Work with partners that impact our carbon footprint
  • Participation and contribution to local, regional sustainability groups and networks
  • Attend seminars, events and exhibitions on the sustainability and climate change agenda
  • Assist and work with the NHS Sustainable Development Unit
  • Share knowledge, skills and best practice with other Trusts

Examples of some of the work we have been doing in collaboration with our partners include:

  • Stagecoach: promote use of local buses to our staff, patients and visitors to reduce travel carbon footprint
  • Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council: delivered cycling schemes to encourage modal shift from car to bike
  • Local suppliers: actively promote use of ‘buying locally’ to strengthen the regional economy
  • Working Together Programme: the Trust participates by working with 6 other regional Trusts to deliver services and make efficiencies by working collectively
  • Health & Wellbeing Board + Local Authority: work with these partners to ensure climate change adaption is at the forefront of policy and decision making
  • Health Resilience Forum: raise issues to stakeholders from South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw
  • Emergency Planning Society: presentations delivered in respect of climate change adaptation and sustainability

Innovation and Product Selection/Diversity

We are very focussed on mitigating against rising energy prices and achieving our climate change obligations. We take energy efficiency extremely seriously and any opportunity to save money, reduce wastage and cut carbon is an essential part of our management plan. Some of the technologies that we have installed include:

  • Variable Speed Drives
  • LED lighting & controls
  • Efficient pumps
  • New windows and roof insulation to improve thermal comfort and minimise fabric heat loss
  • E-Rostering
  • Pharmacy Robots
  • Temperature controlled drug cabinets
  • E-tendering to reduce resources to complete tender activity and bid analysis
  • E-procurement portal
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
  • AMR for M&T
  • Rollout of Schneider StruxtureWare
  • Installation of Plate Heat Exchangers
  • Boiler economisers

1In 2012/13 we invested in a 1,130 kWe Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant to meet the majority of the sites electricity demand through onsite generation. We generate 80% of our own electricity which is equivalent to power 2,552 homes in Barnsley. Due to the efficiency of our CHP we receive 100% exemption on our CCL saving the Trust over £80k p.a.


In 2014 we started to rollout Electronic Patient Records (EPR) system which not only helps us treat our patients more effectively but also moves us towards becoming a paperless hospital.


The Trust is focussed on reducing our carbon footprint across our entire operation. Our SDMP details the steps that we will take between now and in the future to adapt and mitigate against the impacts of climate change and how we will work towards achieving our obligations in accordance with the Climate Change Act 2008. The timeline shows our baseline and required targets:


Our 1990 baseline was 13,417 tCO2e with a requirement to achieve a target of 8,855 tCO2e by 2020 which represents a 34% reduction. Our emissions as at 2015-16 were 8,736 tCO2e and we are currently ahead of the target. We expect to make further reductions and are well placed to achieving substantial emissions reduction by 2020.



Barnsley Hospital is a highly demanding organisation and with high expectations. We will continue to work with the same drive and determination to exceed our carbon targets through investment in improving our infrastructure, achieving behavioural changes, by being creative and employing intelligent solutions to our operation. We will continue to work with our existing partners and develop relationships with new partners that share our vision.