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Case Study

Reducing waste and increasing reuse at St Barts Health with Skanska

An online repair platform to reduce waste

Barts Health NHS Trust, in partnership with Skanska, have been working with us to create a proactive repair and reuse platform within the trust.

It allowed them to repair furniture items that would otherwise have been disposed of. This also meant they could re-distribute remanufactured furniture items across the trust’s estate as required.

In order to maintain close control over these assets and provide regular reporting, an online catalogue was set up to track items and enable estate and facilities teams to easily view furniture in stock for quick release and distribution.

Working in partnership for the optimal solution

To initiate the scheme, we worked closely with Barts and Skanska to assess and analyse disposal and procurement habits. We develop a closed loop repair system to maximise the usable life of furniture items across the estate and deliver greater cost efficiency and carbon savings for the trust.

By working in conjunction with the furniture porters and estates and facilities teams, we ensured that good and reusable furniture is segregated and stored in designated areas at each hospital for monthly site collections.

Upon collection, items are returned to our Renew Centre, then catalogued, photographed and assessed in terms of cost of repair against purchase cost. A proposal is sent to the client for approval to promptly bring items back into reuse at a fraction of the cost of new.

The team also developed training packages and identification labels to ensure items are fully tracked, allowing for items to be returned quickly to the user once the repair is complete. Any items not requiring direct return are stored for future reuse and captured on our online searchable catalogue.

“Since project inception it has been a real honour to see salvaged and now saved, skipped items, reinvigorating so many staff, patient and visitor environments at a fraction of the cost of new.  We couldn’t have done any of it without the hard work of our waste service partners, Skanska and the skills of Crown Workspace.

The scheme has helped move the focus of the waste services further up the waste hierarchy.  The success of the partnership with Crown, Barts Health NHS Trust and Skanska has been recognised not once, but twice in recent major NHS awards: firstly in the ‘Reuse’ category of the NHS Sustainability Awards 2018; and also in the ‘Value and improvement in facilities and estates management’ category at the HSJ Value awards 2018.”

Neil Allen, Waste & Environment Manager for Barts Health NHS Trust

Client savings

To date (2019) the partnership has helped to divert over 2,000 items of furniture (over 100 tonnes), for repair and reuse within five hospitals.  Skanska predicts the scheme has already saved over £20,500 in waste skip movements and over £200,000 in procurement costs.

As well as having a positive cost saving, the scheme is helping to reduce Barts Health’s Carbon Footprint. Refurbishing the items has saved an estimated 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide (eqv) through reuse and waste prevention, a saving equivalent to taking six cars off the road for a year. The air quality savings are incredibly significant, particularly in relation to the purpose of the NHS Trust.

The scheme has helped move the focus of the waste management service further up the waste hierarchy. It is hoped that through this proactive engagement with Barts Health estates and facilities teams and Skanska, we can further increase reuse and repair and continuing to improve upon this closed loop cycle of furniture procurement.

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