Making endoscopy greener the Northumbria Healthcare way will be in spotlight at national event

Efforts by a team at Northumbria Healthcare to become more sustainable will be highlighted at a national level later this year.

By Andrew Coulson
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 6:14 pm
Leigh Donnelly, a nurse specialist and the trust’s endoscopy training lead.
Leigh Donnelly, a nurse specialist and the trust’s endoscopy training lead.

This sharing of good practice is important as endoscopy is the third highest emitter of waste in the NHS due to the amount of non-recyclable items used and the requirement for resource-heavy decontamination processes.

An endoscopy is a procedure where organs inside your body are looked at using an instrument called an endoscope.

Leigh Donnelly, a nurse specialist and the endoscopy training lead at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, is the driving force behind the sustainability project and this summer, she will address a special symposium at the British Society of Gastroenterology’s national conference in Birmingham.

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She will also be chairing the session on sustainability at the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy event in Prague in April.

Over the last 12 months, measures that could be implemented immediately included making sure there were recycling bins in place and ensuring waste was segregated rather than all discarded in the same place. This led to work to recycle more of the waste produced, notably hard plastics.

More significant projects are now being looked at, such as work on the production and use of sterile water and challenging suppliers on waste and packaging.

Leigh is keen to stress that none of the sustainability changes will result in any detriment to the care provided to patients.

She added: “Providing a top-quality service to our patients is always our main priority, but reducing our environmental impact is also very important and something that many of our patients are interested in as well.”