The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital (PRH), has saved £88,088 in the last financial year alone using the Warp It redistribution system.
Since joining Warp It in 2015, the Trust has saved a total of £367,321, avoided 67,449kg of waste, and has created one new full-time reuse job post.
The Trust, which has scooped awards for its environmental best practice, has also formed collaborations with other organisations who now regularly donate furniture, equipment, and other items to be used on the system.
Leading the reuse journey at the Trust is Waste and Sustainable Travel Planner, Alexander Ford, along with a Sustainable Services assistant whose role was newly created in 2019, thanks to the savings made with the reuse system.
Alexander has grown the reuse community to 1,308 members, from just 50 in 2015, with 1,028 being frequently active.
Here we speak to Alexander about the incredible successes to date. He said: “I inherited the Warp It system at a time when it wasn’t being used. Back then there were only 50 staff who had signed up, and our storage area had closed down. I knew I had to reach out to staff across the Trust if we were going to make headway and get people using the system.
“I decided to run an engagement campaign to promote the system across all departments in the Trust by spelling out how Warp It helps to reuse items rather than sending them to landfill, saving money, waste, and making the Trust more sustainable overall.”
Alexander also ran an initiative that rewarded those who used the system whether they give or receive items while encouraging them to spread the message and gathering feedback and testimonials. He explained: “It didn’t take long for hospital staff to really embrace Warp It and use it to seek and provide new homes for unloved and unwanted furniture, kit, stationery, and a whole range of other items.
"It really is now the first port of call for anyone who needs anything for their offices and feedback is always brilliant. The range we now see on the system is really broad and varies from ring binders, pens, paperweights and filing trays to cabinets, desks and chairs.”
Alexander has also forged collaborative partnerships with a range of organisations, including the Ministry of Justice, the Probation Service, Shropshire County Council, and waste management companies GoGreen and CollectEco, who donate furniture, equipment, and other materials to the Trust.
“These big donations allowed me to expand the Warp It system and install a 40-foot shipping container to store them,” explained Alexander, “Collecteco, for example, sent us £60,000 of kit from an office clearance.
"Over the course of five days, four vans lorries delivered office furniture, wall clocks, pens, pencils, coat stands, and even potted plants – everything apart from the print toners. It was fantastic seeing the hospital staff’s happy faces when they received their new stuff!”
The shipping container has contributed £38,375 of savings this financial year and, has seen 1,445 items stored all of which is audited. Alexander explained: “at the moment it currently holds around 663 items worth around £6,268 and, while we list the majority of items on the Warp It site, visual inspections in the container are also very popular with staff from across the hospital sites.”
The strong buy-in from the Warp It community within the Trust has also led to offshoot reuse projects including hospital uniforms, which has saved £7,000 in just a year, walkie talkies, and even the supply of 1500 tubes of hand creams.
“It just shows that there is always hope and that anything is possible,” Alexander concluded.
“I see Warp It as the fourth emergency service. It has been integral to allowing us to use resources in a sustainable way and, instead of spending money, we are saving it and helping NHS funds to be re-directed towards the well-being of patients and staff.
“We have removed the need to contribute to landfill, reduced our carbon footprint, and, importantly, engage with our staff in a meaningful way and take them on our environmental improvement journey.”
Get more information and updates on the “For a greener NHS programme” by visiting the website.