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Case studies Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Upcycling will play a critical part in the future of the NHS

“When we installed our first Flute office at the Trust, everyone who came to see it said they wanted one too!”

Robin Packman, head of waste management and energy efficiency at Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust, was an instant convert to the Flute solution once he was introduced to it at an NHS sustainability roadshow in 2013. Knowing the huge task facing the NHS in terms of cutting costs and increasing efficiencies in order to save £22bn in five years, Robin wasted no time in taking the first step of product engagement and internal communication. He won the support of his boss, Craig Catterick and commissioned Flute to transform the estates office into an ‘eco office’ using nothing but waste.

The result was instant appreciation from everyone who came to see the new office, including the local media and the Trust CEO David Sissling, who proclaimed the innovation to be ‘the way forward for the NHS in England’ in terms of maximising resources and minimising waste.

“There are always people who will be cynical of change,” says Packman, “but that disappears remarkably quickly when they see that what can be made from waste materials is actually much more desirable than the stuff they currently have.”

Since the first installation Flute has broadened its programme with Kettering by engaging with more departments and has completed major refit projects for the Medical Records Office and the Anti-Coagulation department. Three more projects are in planning as part of Step Two after which Flute will be presenting its case for Trust-wide adoption of the upcycling solution via a framework agreement for the provision of waste-to-value services as a first port of call before any new capital items are purchased.

Kettering’s first mover status has made it a beacon for other NHS trusts keen to learn how they can make a start on improving resource use and meeting the ambitious sustainability road map targets set centrally for the whole NHS.

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