We enhance our green credentials

Members of staff at popular hospital Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre in Plymouth are wielding garden tools in a bid to ‘green-up’ its site.

They are doing this in response to suggestions from patients and visitors who felt that the green areas of the hospital’s grounds could be made more attractive. Members of staff had also called for an initiative to improve the hospital’s environmental impact.

In order to run the green initiative, the hospital has set up its own Green Team made up from members of staff from across departments. This week they will be busy planting outside the main entrance and by the tunnel to the mobile MRI unit, to make those areas more welcoming to patients and staff.

The planting will include a mixture of garden plants and vegetables, the latter destined for use in the hospital’s Care Café.

The Green Team is also introducing a number of initiatives to encourage wildlife, including bird feeders. The team will take on maintenance activities, such as picking up litter from around the site, and will be encouraging other members of staff to take part.

The hospital would also like to invite patients and visitors to take part, be that offering some time for gardening duties or donating plants and equipment.

As well as concentrating on planting and encouraging wildlife, a number of other initiatives have been adopted by the hospital to minimise its environmental impact. All cardboard and plastic used at the hospital are recycled, and all cups used for water, tea and coffee are recycled too. All the tissue and toilet paper used in the hospital is recycled and rubbish is separated into recycling bins before it leaves the site.

Most lights in the hospital are set to only switch on when someone enters a room. All staff are encouraged to share transport to work and the hospital offers a scheme to help members of staff buy bicycles to use on their commute into work.

The hospital’s cleaners used environmentally-friendly cleaning products which come in concentrated form which means less is used, a reduction in waste packaging and fewer deliveries – all contributing to a better carbon footprint.

Mark White, Hospital Director at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, commented: “My thanks go to colleagues who are driving this initiative and whose efforts help us to be as environmentally-friendly as we can be. The excellence of the patient experience sits at the heart of everything we do, and we listen to the suggestions patients and visitors make about how we can further improve our offering. We hope that people coming to the hospital will take time to enjoy our newly-planted areas.”