The intention of the GCC self assessment model is to influence business practice. The GCC suggests that NHS organisations will benefit from a healthier local population, have better staff morale and patients will recover more quickly and some financial savings can be made.
The model is divided into six sections:
Sustainable transport in the main is about ensuring CO2 emissions are minimised by encouraging the use of other means of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport. Transport needs to be managed in a way that benefits the local community, supports local economy and protects the environment.
To have ‘sustainable purchasing’, goods and services should be secured in a way that minimises negative impacts on the environment and society for the full product life cycle. It is estimated by the Department of Health that in 2004 60% of the total carbon emissions from NHS activities relates to procurement of goods and services these were broken down as shown below.
Analysis of the carbon footprint attributable to procurement indicates that pharmaceuticals have a significant contribution to the footprint. Although this may only be influenced at industry and national level it maybe appropriate for NHS Trust’s to consider reducing any drug wastage for example, re-using patients own drugs whilst in hospital and recycling unused drugs from wards.
5.3 Facilities Management
22% of the total carbon emissions from NHS activity relates to building energy use. This element of the Good Corporate Citizen assessment includes activities such as, energy consumption, waste management, and use of utilities. The NHS produces circa 600,000 tonnes of waste each year and consumes nearly 50 billion litres of water. By employing a sustainable facilities approach these figures can be reduced.
5.4 Employment & Skills
The Improving Working Lives (IWL) initiative has ensured NHS organisations are acting in a responsible manner towards their staff. Sustainable HR practices help to improve the mental and physical health which can in turn have a residual effect upon the family and friends of employees.
5.5 Community Engagement
NHS organisations are an important part of the local community. Through involvement with Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) and planning processes, NHS sites can help improve the health of local people, promote social cohesion and tackle health inequalities. Local Authorities must develop Local Area Agreements (LAAs) which now include two new indicators:
a) To reduce CO2 emissions from their own operations
b) To reduce CO2 emissions from the Local Authority area (including hospitals)
By involving patients and local residents in decisions about how services are delivered, decisions can be made that best benefit the local community. NHS organisations need to work in tandem with local government, public services and community based organisations to find new and beneficial ways to deliver healthcare.
5.6 New Buildings
The Sustainable Development Commission suggests that, constructing sustainable buildings provides healing environments and healthier workplaces. By utilising local contracts, services and people, jobs and economies are created and supported, providing a better standard of living within the area. By involving the community and looking for local resources the impact of the building can be less invasive and more locally supported. Incorporating green spaces and producing a ‘healing environment’ has been shown to reduce patient recovery times by providing pleasant outlooks and calm spaces.
5.7 Self-assessment Stage
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust have undertaken the Good Corporate Citizen self assessment. A summary of the current results are detailed below. The full current assessment score detail for the Trust is attached (Appendix B).
The self assessment scores indicate that Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust is behind others Trusts in the “Buildings” and “Community engagement” sections. While this might be an interesting comparison it must be noted that the GCC assessment is designed to allow an organisation to show its own development and provide guidance on where area might be improved.
The Good Corporate Citizen assessment tool prompts the Trust with action and initiatives to improve performance. The recommendations for overall improvement are suggested by the GCC as being:
By 2012, the Trust should be "Getting there" in at least two questions in each area of the test - or achieve a minimum of 22% in each area of the results.
By 2015, the Trust should be "Getting there" in at least four questions in each area of the test, and "Excellent" in at least two questions in each area - or achieve a minimum of 56% in each area of the results.
By 2020, the Trust should be "Excellent" in all areas of the test - or achieve a minimum of 78% in each area of the results.
“Getting there” refers to a score of 4 or more out of 9 (>44%)
“Excellent” refers to a score of 7 or ore out of 9 (>78%)
5.8 Action Plan
The recommendations outlined above and the discussions with the initial GCC assessment group have developed the following action plans.
Each area within the GCC assessment has an assigned working group or lead/s currently in the Trust. The groups will review all of the elements within their section and shall develop a robust and achievable plan for meeting the improvement targets above. This will ensure that a constantly improving sustainability strategy exists that is embedded within the Trust activities.
The initial action plan requires that by 2012, the Trust should achieve a score of 4 or more out of 9 (>44%) in at least two questions in each area of the test - or achieve a minimum of 22% in each area of the results. Appendix C.
Once action has been completed by a working group they will report the revision to the EEC. The progress of these groups will be monitored by the EEC and change will be made to the GCC assessment and reported in the EEC report to the OMB.