Skip to main content

Energy Efficiency

Volume 301: debated on Friday 21 November 1997

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in promoting (a) energy efficiency and (b) recycling and waste minimisation within the National Health Service; and what plans he has for further measures. [16332]

The Department of Health is committed to encouraging hospitals to be more energy efficient. National Health Service trusts are required to provide data on energy consumption. This is analysed by the Department's NHS Estates agency so as to give NHS trusts detailed information on energy usage against which to compare their performance. NHS trusts are expected to contribute to the target of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions of improving energy efficiency by 15 per cent. between 1990 and 1995–96, revised to 20 per cent. from 1990–2000. The NHS achieved an energy saving of some 11.4 per cent. from 1990 to 1995–96. Information for 1996–97 is not yet available but initial indications suggest continuing reductions.The NHS Estates agency has set up a working group with the aim of identifying existing good waste management practice to encourage the reduction of waste arisings.To promote recycling and waste minimisation, the NHS Estates agency has issued 'A strategic guide to clinical waste management—for General Managers and Chief Executives' advising Trusts to develop environmental protection and waste minimisation policies, with the emphasis on waste management rather than disposal. The preferred options, in order of priority, are: prevention; reuse; recycling; combustion with energy recovery; incineration; and landfill. To continue to promote the importance of waste management and segregation, the NHS Estates agency recently published Health Technical Memorandum 2065 'Healthcare waste management— segregation of waste streams in clinical areas'(1997).

The agency is working on further guidance relating to the minimisation and disposal of clinical waste in the community.