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Energy costs could be reduced by £130m if just 50% of NHS England utilised energy saving schemes

The operational efficiencies that can improve patient outcomes

Lord Carter of Coles has stated that, if just 50% of NHS England utilised energy savings schemes such as LED lighting, combined heat and power units, and smart energy management systems, energy costs could be reduced by £130 million.1

That’s a compelling figure, considering the budgetary pressures facing the sector as a result of funding shortfalls and higher input costs, and the resulting impact on patient outcomes. According to a joint statement on health and social care by The Nuffield Trust, The Health Foundation and The King’s Fund, £4 billion in additional funding is needed in 2018/19 to prevent a deterioration in patient care.2 With budgets under such intense pressure due to increasing demand at a time of funding shortfalls and higher input costs, optimising your energy infrastructure can cut significant costs. The funds and resources you free up can then be invested in frontline services to deliver better patient outcomes.

In a recent survey by Centrica Business Solutions, 35% of healthcare respondents cited managing rising costs and providing a comfortable care environment as the joint number one challenges for the next 12 months.3

So, how can you optimise your energy infrastructure to overcome these challenges?

Breaking a vicious circle

The UK’s healthcare sector spends £400 million per year on energy – a significant proportion of which is wasted.4

Many NHS trusts are running ageing and inefficient energy estates, leading to unnecessary wastage. Skills and resource gaps in operational functions also mean that many providers are not managing their energy estates effectively, and lack the time or the expertise to address inefficiencies.

With the necessary focus being on frontline patient care, back room operations – including energy management – have inevitably been treated as a low priority. This often results in growing inefficiency and energy wastage, creating a vicious circle of spiralling costs.

We believe it’s time to break this circle. With new energy technologies and approaches, eliminating avoidable spend and optimising operational performance are both essential and achievable.

The measures you can take range from ensuring accurate monitoring and control, to utilising the latest energy insight tools. For example, just 1°C of overheating can increase hospital fuel costs by around 8%.5 While automated sensors can achieve savings of up to 30% on lighting, compared to manual intervention.6 And a regularly serviced boiler can save as much as 10% on annual heating costs.7

Overcoming limited resources

If limited resources and conflicting priorities are holding you back, outsourcing your energy management to a specialist lets you access new, cost-saving technologies while taking advantage of greater expertise, flexible funding models and economies of scale. For example, we enabled Shrewsbury Hospital to achieve £780,000 annual savings for zero capital investment. That’s the equivalent of a new MRI scanner, 6-10 consultants or 15-20 nurses/midwives.

Download our article to find out more about the operational efficiencies that can improve your patient outcomes, including how we’re saving St George’s Hospital over £1m and 6,000 tonnes of carbon a year. We highlight the new technologies available, and set out the energy strategies we believe you should prioritise to enable you to invest more in patient outcomes.

Find out how we can support healthcare businesses energy saving strategies and learn how our customers in the healthcare sector are benefiting from advanced energy saving solutions.

1Powering Britain’s Economic Future, Centrica Business Solutions, Nov 2017, 2Joint statement on health and social care, Nuffield Trust, The Health Foundation and The King’s Fund, Nov 2017, 3Energy Advantage Research, Centrica Business Solutions. Statistics based on a six country survey of more than 1,000 energy decision-makers in large organisations, 4, 5, 6 & 7The Carbon Trust Hospital Sector Overview