Trust scoops environmental prize in HSJ Awards

18th Mar 2021

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust has scooped a top award in a prestigious ceremony billed as the Oscars of the healthcare industry.

The organisation picked up the Environmental Sustainability Award in the HSJ Awards, which took place virtually on 17 March. 

Fran Silcocks, sustainability programme lead for the Trust, said: “Receiving this award is a real testament to the hard work and commitment of the Trust to forming a greener and more sustainable workplace and world.”

Meanwhile, the organisation’s Alcohol Care Team was Highly Commended in the Acute Sector Innovation of the Year category, as was Dr Sarb Clare, acute medical consultant, in the Clinical Leader of the Year section.

The event was hosted by Dudley comedian Lenny Henry and news presenter Victoria Derbyshire and included a special message from Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England.

Fran added: “It’s so important that the work of the organisation has been recognised by leading figures within the healthcare industry.

“We are driving forwards with sustainable practices and have implemented a number of projects to achieve this, including installing solar panels, making our systems and buildings much more energy efficient, rolling out our ‘Green Impact’ staff engagement programme, putting in place sustainable waste processes, reducing reliance on single-use plastics, and many more.

“The Trust is working collaboratively with organisations to contribute to the clean air agenda across the West Midlands. We have introduced electric car charging points, a car sharing scheme and cycle lanes across sites and we are working with local public transport providers to offer discounted travel for our workforce.

“We have ambitious plans to become net carbon zero through major infrastructure changes and by engaging with colleagues across our sites, which includes the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital which is due to open in 2022.

“As a health care provider, we have a duty of care to advocate improvements in sustainability and public health and are committed to positively contributing towards this. We are honoured to receive this award and will continue our work to excel.”

The judges were impressed with the public engagement of the entry, the ambition of the Public Health Plan and its incorporation of sustainability.

They also felt it went beyond the Trust’s own metrics, but more importantly talked to the health outcomes of the local population and not just the current patients.

Speaking of the Highly Commended nod to the Alcohol Care Team, Arlene Copland, nurse consultant for the service, added: “We are delighted to receive this recognition for the work we have done, which has continued throughout the pandemic – caring for people who need crucial support for alcohol misuse.”

Meanwhile Dr Clare said of her acknowledgement: “I am really honoured to be Highly Commended and recognised by the HSJ for the work that I have led in. This includes the Women Empowering Women work as well as the energy pods which were both key pre-pandemic but have been critical during this time and as we move out into recovery period.

“Clinical Leaders cannot deliver their vision without the great people who follow, support, advise and share the same passion. I thank all the amazing people I work with, who together make up the brilliant teams within the Trust and ask they celebrate this recognition with me.”

The Communications team campaign to promote the Trust going smoke free was also shortlisted in the event for NHS Communications Initiative of the Year Award.

Richard Beeken, Interim Chief Executive, added: “This year has been extremely challenging due to the pandemic yet this award and the commendations demonstrates the Trust’s continued ability to lead by example beyond the traditional boundaries of hospital and community services provision.  We are very proud of their achievements.”

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