Reducing the carbon footprint made by health services across Hampshire and creating a greener, more sustainable way to deliver care is one of the key commitments behind the Hampshire Together programme.
Cleaner travel, dedicated green spaces and improved air quality are just some of the benefits that would be delivered if proposals to build a new acute centralised hospital for the people of Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas are taken forward.
The Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospital and Health Services programme was set up in response to the government’s Health Infrastructure Plan, which named north and mid Hampshire as one of the areas to benefit from funding to build 40 new facilities before 2030.
It includes the potential for the construction of a brand new hospital, with health and care partners working together to develop a health, wellbeing and care services that provides everyone in with access to high-quality, timely and sustainable health care as close to home as possible.
Any new facility must be constructed to a Net Zero Carbon Hospital Standard, which is part of the NHS Long Term Plan. This means that all man-made emissions must be removed from the atmosphere through reduction measures.
In order to do this, Gillian Brown, sustainability manager at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has been working closely with the Carbon Trust to build a strategy and implementation plan on how to effectively construct a more sustainable acute centralised hospital.
She said: “I am honoured to be part of the team committed to improving the healthcare we provide for our patients, while also reducing our environmental impact. Having a greener, more sustainable hospital is a win-win situation for everyone, and we are exploring a number of ways this could be carried out.
“Some of the options currently being explored include the use of sustainable resources and materials when constructing a new building and we will continue to use 100 per cent green and renewable energy.
“Exploring electric transport options, reducing single-use products and waste, and investing in more green spaces for wildlife and nature to thrive, are just some of the other ways in which the Hampshire Together programme is committed to keeping its emissions and carbon footprint to a minimum.
“For our patients, this means cleaner air around the site, which will have huge health benefits for those with respiratory conditions, and will provide better transport options and outdoor space for all to enjoy.
“Benefits for staff include having dedicated wellbeing areas outside to relax in and have to access fresh air, investing in digital advances, and sustainable transport options for commuting such as electric bikes are all options that help improve the working environment.”
Gillian will also look to work with Hampshire and Isle Of Wight Wildlife Trust and local conservation groups to explore how we might achieve biodiversity net gain within and around a potential new acute centralised hospital.
“We are aware that one of the potential locations is a current greenfield site, and building on this could be an environmental risk,” Gillian added. “However, we will do all we can to work closely with our conservation partners to improve biodiversity, whichever site is chosen.”