Key messages

  • Videos provide perspectives on sustainability in the healthcare system.
  • Western Health assisted in the development of this content.

Sustainability learnings from the NHS forum

On 23 May 2018 Robert Fiske, CEO of the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority held a forum with Dr David Pencheon OBE, former Head of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, Stan Krpan, CEO of Sustainability Victoria and leaders from across the Victorian health system.

Closed Caption iconThe videos are available with closed captions by clicking on the CC icon in the bottom right of the Vimeo viewer, or you can access transcripts in Word format.

Introductions and key notes

Mr Stan Krpan , CEO, Sustainability Victorian Government provides an introduction to the forum, noting that Sustainability Victoria's research that showed 4 in 5 Victorians are concerned about climate change. Even more specific to health is a recent report by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit which found that 98 per cent of NHS employees want a greener health system.

Robert Fiske, CEO of Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority provides a departmental introduction to Sustainability in Healthcare, noting the scale of the Victorian the health system and the challenge ahead of us. In 2016-17 its carbon emissions and waste was equivalent to the households of Ballarat and Sunbury. It delivered over 10 million episodes of care and every occupied bed-day emitted on average 120 kilograms of carbon, used 600 litres of water and every patient treated generated around 3 kilograms of waste. Mr Fiske reiterated the role of the Building Authority in providing strong leadership and advocacy for sustainability in healthcare, noting since 2005-06 carbon emissions per meter squared have reduced by 12 per cent and water use per meter squared reduced by 42 per cent.

Dr David Pencheon (OBE), Former head of the Sustainable Development Unit (UK) spoke about his experiences in making the NHS a sustainability leader. He saw law as an important enabler, noted the importance of seeing climate change as a health issue, the need to embed sustainability in existing governance and quality frameworks, integrating adaptation and mitigation and adopting a systems approach. He reminded us that in general executives to not want to break the law (Climate Change Act), the bank (rising health costs), or the contract with the people it serves.

Panel discussion

Ms Colleen Gates, Board member, Western Health, discusses three broad areas of sustainability: what we work in (efficient buildings), what we do (sustainable practices) and what we impact (healthy communities). Key messages were don't be wasteful, reduce repeat visits, embed social responsibility in your strategic leadership and culture and make sustainability the natural choice.

Dan Douglass, Chief Executive Officer of Heathcote Health, discusses sustainability as a connection to community and quality of life. As a small rural health service he saw partnerships as essential to build critical mass. As with health programs, sustainability programs need to be evidence based and evaluated.

Julia Trimboli, Group Executive Director, Leadership and Mission, Mercy Health, speaks about Pope Francis's encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si, and how it is driving change across Mercy Health. Their focus is divestment, superannuation, procurement, engaging with their 8,500 staff and governance through an environment committee.

Dan Jefferson, Director, Commissioning, Performance and Regulation, Department of Health and Human Services discusses opportunities to embed sustainability into performance measures around access, quality, governance and financial sustainability. Potential examples were accessing tests by phone, home based care, packaging of consumables without affecting quality of care, training boards on sustainability and preventative models of care to improve financial sustainability. He raised the concept of care miles and noted the need to engage with corporate, community and clinical stakeholders.

Joe Neill, Director, Procurement and Value Delivery, Health Purchasing Victoria talks about the importance of Victoria's social procurement framework in delivering social, economic and environmental outcomes. Sustainable procurement could also benefit from moving from shorter to longer term planning and contracting, such as Victoria's Renewable Certificate Purchasing Initiative that has used the buying-power of government electricity, including hospitals, to leverage up to $533 million of capital investment and over 280MW of capacity in new wind and solar farms.

Dr David Pencheon (OBE) discussion with Dr Forbes McGain, Anaesthetist, Western Health, talks about a range of topics and challenges for increasing sustainability in the health system in Victoria and more broadly.

Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority Industry Forum 2018

More than 650 industry partners attended the inaugural Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) Industry Forum 2018 at Melbourne Convention Centre on 31 May to hear Minister Foley, Deputy Secretary Nick Foa and the VHHSBA leadership team discuss the Authority's strategic infrastructure program and the opportunities for industry across our health, housing and sport portfolios.

Visit the VHHSBA website to view videos of the forum.

Sustainability at Western Health videos

A series of videos has been developed to provide some perspectives on why it is important to embed sustainability within the healthcare system and highlight some practical measures that can be taken by healthcare providers.

The department would like to thank Western Health for its support and involvement in making the videos.

Kathryn Cook, CEO of Western Health, talks about why she thinks it is important to invest in sustainability within the healthcare system.

Dr Forbes McGain, Anaesthetist & ICU Physician, talks about what health professionals can do to improve the sustainability of the healthcare system, as well the benefits of using reusable instruments.

Catherine O’Shea, Sustainability Officer at Western Health, talks about the range of Western Health initiatives that are not only reducing its environmental impact but also its operating costs.

Raymun Ghumman, a fourth-year medical student, talks about the importance of considering sustainability in the education of health professionals and why medical students should not underestimate their role in improving the sustainability of the healthcare system.