Aintree Hospital NHS foundation trust (AUH) serves a population of around 333,000 in North Liverpool, Sefton and Kirby. As a teaching hospital, Aintree offers specialist services with a world class reputation to a population of 1.5million residents across the North West. Aintree has 19 operating theatres and in 2013, carried out more than 20,000 operations.
B&M Waste Services has been providing waste management services to the hospital since 2010 – when it began managing the hospital’s general waste programme. In 2011, The Royal College of Nursing issued a report which talked about the potential savings to the NHS if hospital waste is classified and segregated correctly.
The report projected a total annual saving of £5.5 million to the NHS.
Working in partnership with the hospital’s General Manager, Site Facilities Manager and the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) team, B&M reviewed the hospital’s procedures, with the aim being to make significant cost savings and improve the hospital’s environmental performance.
B&M’s report determined that Aintree was disposing of all of its offensive waste into clinical waste bags and sending this to incineration and autoclaving, at a significant cost.
Following the audit, B&M carried out a full risk assessment and produced method statements for all procedures. This method statement covers the detail of disposal of offensive waste from the moment it is put in a bin through to it leaving the site. By introducing a clear segregation system both parties sought to substantially improve both the environmental and financial performance of the hospital.
B&M designed a bespoke waste compound in accordance with AUH’s requirements. The steel plated compound included an approved foul drainage system and facilities to wash vehicles and bins. In addition to this, B&M deployed new compactor technology – installing compactors for general waste and compactors for offensive waste. This significantly reduced transportation costs for the hospital. B&M Waste also installed 450 bins in Aintree.
In 2013 B&M introduced a confidential document shredding service. Over 160 lockable discreet cabinets specifically for holding confidential documents were put in place around the site. B&M’s team of operatives who collect the confidential waste are vetted for up to five years in accordance with BS7858, with full advanced CRB checks and screening. The service is accredited to British Security Industry Association (BSIA) standards and a Certificate of Destruction is provided by email after every shred, and all shredded material is 100% recycled.
B&M also provides a dedicated battery collection and recycling service, with small containers kept in offices and reception desks, and these can be emptied into large containers that are kept in a locked cupboard for storing until collection.
B&M showed its commitment to working with AUH by offering to hold a number of training days for AUH staff to learn about the new waste segregation system. Over four days B&M trained over 500 of the hospital’s domestic and clinical staff, with the backing and assistance of AUH’s IPC team. The B&M team visited all the wards and theatres to see any staff members that had missed the training days for toolbox training sessions.
Copies of the training presentation were distributed across the hospital and a presentation was also uploaded onto AUH’s intranet and publicised in their monthly magazine to help with the induction of new staff. The interactive presentation allowed staff to understand the new system and raise any questions they had. AUH staff who attended the training were given an information card outlining the three waste streams; offensive, infectious and domestic. This, along with posters and information on AUH’s intranet, helped staff know what they needed to do even before the new waste disposal systems were rolled out.
Previously, Aintree’s porters were responsible for handling the waste before it left the site.
Following the installation of the new waste compound, AUH employed two waste managers in full time positions on-site at AUH. In 2013 this was doubled to four full time waste operatives due to the increase in segregated waste streams coming out of the site.
A B&M waste operative spotted the opportunity to recycle more cardboard, noticing the large amount that was being collected. As a result of this, a cardboard baler was installed at AUH allowing for greater quantities of cardboard to be recycled and providing rebates for the hospital.
As a result of the segregation method, clinical waste output has been reduced by over 28 tonnes per month.
This waste has avoided the costly and environmentally damaging process of incineration.
The offensive waste is now sent to landfill sites (operated by Cory Environmental Ltd) where the methane produced by the waste is captured and reused to generate electricity, helping to control energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In the four months that followed the introduction of the system, the hospital disposed of 26 tonnes of offensive waste that would previously have been sent for incineration and the figures continued to rise as staff adapted to the new programme, with about 300 tonnes collected in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Clinical waste output has been reduced by more than a third, with collections down from 60 bins going twice a day to just 20 once a day.
Due to segregation and use of the on-site baler, the recycling of cardboard increased to 165 tonnes in 2013 compared to 26 tonnes in 2011, and no recycling before then. A further 55 tonnes of mixed metals, paper and plastic – which are stored in a dedicated 35-yard Ro-Ro in the waste compound and collected on request – have been collected in the last year and achieved a 100% diversion from landfill.
Michael Morgan, Facilities Manager at Aintree University Hospital, said: “The partnership with B&M has helped reduce our impact on the environment and improve efficiency. The bespoke waste compound is fantastic and an example to other NHS Trusts.
“The key to the success of our offensive waste and recycling programme has been the close working relationship with B&M. The response from our staff has been fantastic and this is in no small way down to the hard work B&M put in from implementation and training to collection and disposal.
“By working with B&M we know that we are taking advantage of the latest waste innovations and we are committed to further improving our waste management performance.”
Rose Warnock, of B&M Waste Services, said: “Aintree has been 100 per cent committed to the waste management programme from the very beginning and a number of the initiatives we have undertaken in partnership with the hospital have been industry leading in the healthcare sector.
“The hospital has come a long way in a relatively short space of time and its approach is rightly seen as an example of best practice in the NHS.”