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Caroline Davies, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust

Case study, Sustainable healthcare, NHS

Warp It are pleased to welcome Caroline Davies to help us explore reuse, culture change and the past problems of wasteful behaviour activities within her organisation, Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust.

 

The Problem

“One of the main problems was that we were hiring a lot of skips and throwing away a lot of decent furniture. When we closed sites down, we were getting big general waste skips and chucking out stuff we knew was useful. We didn't have a method, or the time, to think about reusing it elsewhere.”

 

“We were reusing to the best of our abilities, but it was taking a lot of time with emails between myself, the estate managers and the porters. “Has anyone got a filing cabinet?”, or “Has anyone got a desk?”. There would be all of these emails going around and then we'd have to go and check in our store before responding to the person. We were reusing in a long-winded and time-consuming way.”

 

Making the business case for buy-in

“We did make a business case. We included data on how much we were spending on skips, and obviously put forward Warp It and all of the benefits that we thought there would be. It wasn’t only about cost savings on buying new items, but also avoiding waste and the environmental positives too. It was mainly about the fact that from a directional point of view, it wasn't very good how we were working before. We tried to calculate all of the different aspects, not just the cost.”

 

Justified results

Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust signed up to Warp It on the 21st March 2017. Since then, they have saved an impressive £31,500 (as of June 28th 2018) through Warp It. With a monthly investment in our system of just £300, their savings are on average £1968 per month. This is a 6.56x return on investment. They have also saved 11,378kg of carbon from the atmosphere and avoided 4.3 tonnes of waste!

 

Doing a mini pilot

“I think the pilot was a really good idea, because through it we identified about thirty five people. We got information from the procurement department about who was ordering a lot of items. We targeted those people to join the pilot and I think that worked really well, because they were the people that needed to use the system the most.”

“We ran the pilot for about six weeks and we did some training with them and asked for feedback at the end. I think it was almost 100% positive, really. There were some things that we managed to iron out during the pilot.”

 

The challenges

“I don't know if we struggled, but the transport side of things provided challenges. We don't have dedicated vans or vehicles that can move the items around. Obviously we were moving items around before Warp It, but it has increased, which is good, but it's a double-edged sword, because the more people are using Warp It, the more we're having to fit in transport-wise. The other thing is storage, we need a quick turnover of items and to not be leaving things to the last minute, especially if they are leaving the estate.”

 

Transport & Porter process

“We've got two waste drivers. They both have vans and their main job is to collect waste from patients’ homes. On the days when they're not scheduled to make waste collections, we book them to move items that have been claimed on Warp It.”

 

“I think the drivers are quite positive, you know, they're quite on board with all of it and they help with listing things or letting me know when things are available and stuff, but it's constantly trying to keep an eye on the workload and just trying to work on what's a priority, really. That is difficult.”

 

Objections or issues?

“We have struggled with clinical equipment because at first we thought we could include that. We were told that it was okay and then on the day that we put our communications out, we had quite an unhappy authority who said ‘No, you can't put anything on there’. I think making sure that you're talking to the right, or most senior person that you need to is a good idea.”

 

“We got agreement from someone in that department, so we thought it was all fine, but then the more senior manager wasn't initially involved and when they saw what we were planning, they had reservations and shut it down. We've now gone back and spoken to them and they are going to be able to move forwards, to a certain extent, with this service. Doing things better would have saved us the time spent backtracking.”

 

Moving forward

“We'd like to open up to other organisations, perhaps in the next year. We're still getting out items that, obviously, we've advertised internally, but when they do expire, technically they might end up being disposed of, which is not what we want. Also, we've only just recently met again with the clinical equipment department, so we are looking at trying to get some of their surplus assets on Warp It.”

 

Thank you Caroline!

 


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About the Author..

Joseph Kennedy

Joseph Kennedy

My journey is education, communication and innovation. My destination is a world free from environmental collapse, ecological ruin and unbreathable air.

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