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UHNM solar project nominated for national award

University Hospitals of North Midlands, which runs both Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford, has been shortlisted for the Towards Net Zero Award at this year’s HSJ Awards.  The project, Saving Lives with Solar, is focused on preventing vulnerable local people being readmitted to hospital because they are living in cold damp conditions.

UHNM’s Saving Lives with Solar scheme is an innovative design, which started in 2016, has helped over 400 households’ and leads the NHS Net Zero Strategy. The scheme uses solar panels to obtain cheaper energy, and the cost savings are then invested in providing free support mechanisms to patients, who are living in fuel poverty and in turn improves patient outcomes.

Through the combined efforts of UHNM, a community social enterprise and Staffordshire based charity, Beat the Cold, a bespoke support package is available to alleviate cold, damp homes and provide affordable warmth.  

Dr Arora, Clinical Co-lead for the project said: “The team at UHNM are delighted to be a HSJ award finalist for their work on ‘Saving Lives with Solar’ in the Net Zero Category. This recognises the innovative work that has benefitted many patients living in cold homes and has improved patient outcomes whilst also reducing health inequalities. The great things about this are that it can be easily replicated across the NHS.”

This award recognises organisations redesigning working practices to deliver greener and more efficient services, and who are actively adopting new innovations to reduce waste, water, energy consumption, carbon and single-use plastics.

A staggering 1067 entries have been received for the HSJ Awards 2022, with 219 projects and individuals making it to the final shortlist (from across 162 organisations). The high volume - and exceptional quality – of applications is once again reflecting the breadth of innovation and care within the UK’s healthcare networks.

Tracy Bullock, UHNM Chief Executive, said: “I am so pleased the project ‘Saving Lives with Solar’ has been shortlisted for an HSJ Award. We have received positive feedback from patients who have benefited from this initiative and this nomination highlights the incredible work that has been put into this project. Congratulations to everyone involved.”