Greener AHP week
Greener AHP (Allied Health Professionals) week, 17th – 24th April 2023, hosted by NHS England, gave us the opportunity to showcase and celebrate the achievements of AHPs in making healthcare more environmentally sustainable.
A lot of AHP practice is preventative, but it also tends to be high-value, person-centred care focused on enablement, meeting patients’ own goals and building their resilience to future acute episodes, for example: falls prevention, signposting, etc.
We know early mobilisation of patients prevents complications, uses fewer hospital resources and helps people get home sooner. We celebrated Greener AHP week by inspiring and encouraging new ideas about how we can become even more sustainable in our practices.
In the below video Stu Southgate, an AHP and our Commercial Lead for Midlands and the North, discusses what AHP week means to him:
HomeLink Healthcare’s commitment to sustainability
HomeLink Healthcare is a member of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) Climate Change Group and is committed to being net zero carbon emissions for scope 1 and 2 by 2035 and net zero carbon emissions for supply chain by 2045.
We are in the process of becoming ISO 14001 certified and have an Environmental Policy and relevant procedures in place to attain this certification.
Here are some of the sustainable practices we already follow at HomeLink Healthcare and actions we have taken to reduce carbon emissions:
- Our therapy staff in London utilise public transport and therefore already work in a low-carbon, sustainable model of care.
- We offer remote physiotherapy sessions.
- Our therapists draw on assets outside the healthcare system, such as family relationships, local spaces and community groups. Often undertaking Physiotherapy to support patients to access local gardens and public transport.
- Our AHPs work in an integrated system, linking in with multi-agencies to ensure that patients receive timely medical and social input to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.
- Walking aids – working in patients homes our staff can identify when equipment can be safely removed and reused.
- We know care needs change when at home, our staff can support to prevent over prescription of equipment.
- When HomeLink Healthcare AHPs are in patients’ homes we ensure they are able to access adequate and appropriate nutrition and hydration which will help to prevent ill health and add life to years not just years to life.
- Our AHPs can support patients post-surgery with early supported discharge.
- Our AHPs can also work with patients pre-operatively to maximise nutrition and increase global strength to improve outcomes.
- HomeLink Healthcare has planted over 150 trees in recognition of their contributions to the business and for improving our sustainability.
- We are working towards a ‘paper free’ company to reduce its inherent environmental impacts– currently we are 90% paper free.
- We purchase bio-degradable PPE aprons for use in the delivery of our services.
- HomeLink Healthcare has introduced mandatory training on Environmental Sustainability Healthcare.
- Over 95% of all internal and client meetings are held virtually.
- Public transport is the ‘automatic choice’ for all corporate travel.
- Rail is used in place of air-travel for all long-distance travel.
- An incentive scheme is being developed to encourage community-based care teams to use electric vehicles.
- Smart routing (backed by Google technology) for our community teams ensures that travel between patients is minimised.
- Our major suppliers are asked to report on their environmental policy as part of their annual re-evaluation.
- HomeLink Healthcare IT systems are cloud based which will be 100% renewable energy powered by 2025, water positive by 2030 and zero waste by 2030.
All staff are given the opportunity to feedback and suggest new and innovative ways for HomeLink Healthcare to improve sustainability via an internal ‘Opportunities and Change Request’ process.