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NHS Supply Chain plants for a greener future

Thursday 12 April 2012

NHS Supply Chain recently worked with NHS Forest to plant 40 trees in the north west to help offset the business’ carbon footprint.

NHS Supply Chain’s Operational Sustainability Manager, Colin Stuart worked with staff at the business’ Chester office on a project to evaluate the amount of paper used by the team over a 12 month period.  “It was a good opportunity for us to review the environmental impact of our business operations and look at identifying ways in which we could become more carbon efficient” explains Colin.  “I’d heard about the NHS Forest project and got in touch with the team to discuss potential solutions. Their suggestion was simple – just put back what we had used!”

NHS Supply Chain paid for the 40 trees to be planted as part of the business’ wider sustainability programme to reduce the carbon footprint of business activity and improve local communities.  Following discussions with local trusts, NHS Forest agreed with the Cheshire and Wirral NHS Partnership to plant the trees on their land at the Saddlebridge Rehabilitation Unit in Nether Alderley near Macclesfield.

Rachel Stancliffe the Director of The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare said: “The forest will win hearts and minds by connecting NHS staff with a highly visible project to introduce the broader issues of sustainability. It will also link staff, patients and the neighbouring communities with their local green space providing very tangible physical benefits for recreation and physical activity as well as wellbeing and a symbolic connection with the wider environment.

NHS Forest is a national project co-ordinated by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare with the main aim of improving the health of patients, staff and communities by increasing access to green space on or near NHS land.  The project has a target of planting one tree per NHS employee over the next few years – amounting to over 1.3 million.  To date, over 10,000 trees have already been planted across the country.


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Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL as Agent of the NHS Business Services Authority. It supports the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organisations in England and Wales by providing end to end supply chain solutions.

The organisation was formed in 2006 from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). NHS Supply Chain aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

NHS Supply Chain manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 1,000 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations. It provides a single point of access to over 620,000 products ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and even diagnostic equipment such as MRI scanners.

Its management of the procurement process negates an NHS organisation’s need to tender through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Costs can also be reduced through its one-route solution that consolidates all products onto one invoice and delivery – this saves up to £1* per product in back office administration costs and removes up to 40 deliveries going into a trust compared with ordering goods separately. (*source: NHS Supply Chain 2009 value proposition study with Southampton NHS trust)

To ensure that its products are fit for today’s healthcare market, NHS Supply Chain works with suppliers of all sizes to ensure its range embraces high quality and innovative products; and engages with clinicians, the Department of Health and academic institutions to make sure that it is aware of the current requirements and latest developments in clinical practice.

NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include:

  • theatres
  • dental
  • audiology
  • catering, including food
  • infection control
  • orthopaedics
  • rehabilitation
  • capital equipment, including finance and maintenance.

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in ten locations.