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Philips, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust collaborate on a sustainability blueprint to reduce carbon emissions

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | November 02, 2023
Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Farnborough, UK – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT), one of the largest integrated care providers in England, today announced the results of a comprehensive 360 sustainability analysis. The program identified key opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint and waste material within the intensive care unit (ICU) at Darlington Memorial Hospital. Understood to be the first sustainability collaboration of its kind within the NHS, the program illustrates the growing demand for ‘greener’ services in the healthcare sector and showcases the potential for health systems around the world to transform critical care pathways and embed sustainability within their operations.

“Philips took time to undertake quantitative analysis which validated our suspicions and provided outputs we could present back to the wider Trust. The quality of care we provide on the unit has gone up because of the work, as well as through the direct way we serve certain groups of patients,” said Dr. Richard Hixson, Consultant in Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at CDDFT. “For example, by looking at patient flow and de-medicalization of patients, we are helping to ease demand on critical care by adjusting medication, removing monitoring that is no longer required and moving patients onto new pathways, in a positive way.”

ICUs are at the center of diverse clinical practices and in the UK, represent a significant portion of the carbon footprint, while also being one of the most expensive types of care. The analysis, developed as part of the existing 14-year strategic agreement between Philips and the Trust, supports its aims to become a leading example for environmental sustainability in human healthcare.

A team of nine clinical and environmental specialists from Philips worked with the Trust over six months to identify efficiency improvements, with the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of a critical care department. The team analyzed data, interviewed clinical staff including physicians and nurses and undertook shadowing and observation sessions. These focused on clinical workflow, supply chain and procurement, medical technology, and staff and patient experience. The results form a blueprint to drive further change and improvement across the Trust, in line with the NHS’s overall target of being the world’s first net zero national health service by 2040.

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