A greener GOSH

In aid of NHS Sustainability Day on 24 March, YPF member Annabel tells us about sustainability at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

GOSH is a place that all of us at the YPF have spent time in and appreciate and it’s important that it’s around to treat children and young people for as long as possible. To make sure this happens, GOSH has been actively trying to improve its environmental impact as a hospital with a project called Operation TLC.

Operation TLC:

T – turn off equipment when not in use

L – switch off lights where possible

C – close doors and windows

Sustainability at GOSH

The team behind Operation TLC saw that the economic and environmental benefits of energy saving measures, such as switching off the lights when not in use, could be improved on. GOSH decided to try a different approach, showing staff the difference it can make to the patients they look after.

After staff were informed about how they can improve the moods and sleep patterns of patients through natural lighting, there has been a 19 per cent improvement in lights being switched off and a five per cent reduction in energy consumption on the wards. 

Sunshine makes us feel better

The use of natural lighting is not only extremely important in saving energy, but also affects how you feel when you’re in hospital. Though it sounds simple, sunlight can make all the difference in feeling more relaxed (something pretty important if you’re unwell), which in turn can really uplift your mood and help you get better!

Room to breathe

Another aspect of sustainability that GOSH is working on is the air quality around the hospital. It affects everyone, parents, patients and staff, and is just as important as natural light. If you’ve visited GOSH recently, you may have noticed the ‘No idling’ signs that have been put up to encourage ambulance drivers to turn their engines off while parked. The taxi companies that work for the hospital have replaced their cars with either electric or hybrid ones which are much more environmentally friendly.

Walking route maps to Great Ormond Street Hospital as designed by GOSH patients and the GO Create! arts programme
Keep on walking

The hospital has also been actively encouraging that staff, patients and families walk and take public transport (where possible) to get to the hospital, and have been giving out walking maps of the local area designed by GO Create! and patients.

Walking or taking public transport will improve air quality. Soon, everyone could step outside or open a window for a breath of fresh air – very calming and rejuvenating (especially if you’re in hospital).

Fresh air can also alter your perception of the hospital: instead of seeing a stuffy, unpleasant building, the true nature of GOSH becomes much clearer: a happy, supportive oasis in the heart of London!

Food for thought

With plans to improve the sustainability of the menu at GOSH too, the hospital is on the right track to looking after children, young people and families without costing the earth!