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Trust tastes double success in health awards

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust scored a double success at last night’s coveted Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards.

A 'Virtual Waiting Room' pilot won the Driving Efficiency Through Technology award, for demonstrating “demonstrable efficiency, performance and patient benefits”.

The pilot looked at an alternative pathway for patients directed to emergency departments via NHS 111.

Following initial NHS 111 assessment by partners at HUC, the NHS 111 provider for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, patients may be 'admitted' to the Virtual Waiting Room for a video consultation with a specialised clinician or emergency department healthcare professional.

CUH’s David Monk, Vaz Ahmed, and colleagues in the emergency department team worked closely with HUC and other partners in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to plan and deliver the pilot.

David Monk
David Monk

David, who is operations manager for urgent and unscheduled care said:

This is an example of partnership working using technology to make improvements to patients and how we deliver urgent and emergency care

David Monk

HUC chief operating officer Janice Greenhill added: “To be shortlisted was an honour, however, to now be recognised as leaders in healthcare innovation for our work only drives us to continue to move forward with innovating further to help the patients we serve.”

In a second success, an innovative package of measures to reduce carbon emissions at CUH was shortlisted in the HSJ Awards for Environmental Sustainability.

Installing air-conditioning systems which ‘choose’ the greenest type of energy available, rolling out low-energy light bulbs, multidisciplinary working to reduce anaesthetic gas use, initiatives to reduce single use plastics along with continuing to encourage those coming to the campus to cycle, walk or bus to work are only some of the activities which led to the entry being shortlisted.

HSJ Awards 2001 - staff from capital, estates and facilities
CUH staff from capital, estates and facilities management

Energy and sustainability manager, Dr Richard Hales, said:

This is a wonderful boost for all the teams who are striving to reduce our carbon footprint. It’s not easy, but this recognition will spur us on to find new ways of treading more lightly on the planet.

Dr Richard Hales

Director of estates, and executive lead for sustainability Carin Charlton, added:

We know we face a climate emergency, and it is down to each one of us to take urgent steps to reduce our consumption. At CUH our green plan will take us further towards a circular economy that minimises energy usage and waste; raising awareness of the role we all have to play in making CUH a responsible consumer through the HSJ Awards] will supercharge our efforts.

Carin Charlton

Some of the measures outlined in the shortlisted entry included:

  • ‘Net zero carbon enabled plans’ for two new hospitals - Cambridge Children’s Hospital and Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital - which align with NHS Net Zero Carbon targets
  • Rooftop solar panel arrays and battery storage for solar energy
  • Air-source and ground-source heat pumps to warm and cool buildings
  • Innovative technology to ‘choose’ between solar/battery/mains electricity – whichever is most sustainable at that moment
  • Low emissions vehicle available for work use
  • Reducing single use plastics
  • Building on our ‘think green impact’ staff behaviour programme
  • Reducing use of some general anaesthetic gases in favour of others
  • Reducing reliance on metered dose inhalers
  • Reducing our carbon footprint to offer patients remote and virtual clinics where clinically appropriate