That is the key conclusion of a new report from energy firm Centrica Business Solutions, ahead of this Thursday’s (5 July) 70th anniversary of the NHS.

The study claims that the use of demand-response services, onsite solutions and monitoring technologies could help the embattled institution “take control” of its energy consumption and “turn it into an opportunity”.

Centrica Business Solutions’ managing director Jorge Pikunic said: “Our NHS is an incredible healthcare system and a source of national pride – but it’s also under intense pressure to reduce costs while delivering enhanced services. Energy has a huge role to play in that.

“Energy could – and should – be a force for good for the NHS, helping to create financial efficiencies and unlock opportunities to make improvements in patient care. However, it needs more support and funding to modernise its hospital estates.

“Energy technology has come a long way in the past few decades and the systems used by most hospitals across Britain can benefit from the latest energy efficient solutions and equipment.”

Sustainable healthcare

It is estimated that NHS acute trusts spend around £500m on energy each year. Experts have widely stated that the NHS could free up significant funds for front-line services with support from the Government to develop low-carbon measures.

Despite its financial challenges, the health sector has taken great strides to embed sustainability into its business model. A host of Trust sites have begun implementing low-carbon measures to reduce emissions and generate economic savings. 

For instance, Scarborough Hospital’s new low-carbon energy centre, which includes a combined heat and power (CHP) unit, is set to deliver savings of more than £9m and almost 32,000 tonnes of carbon reduction.

Meanwhile, Oxford University Hospitals benefited from a finance procurement system that partnered the Trust with companies that could replace aging heat and power infrastructure with a combined heat and power system that would generate massive economic savings.

The key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainable growth in the NHS were revealed in edie’s recent public-sector insight report, which was sponsored by Centrica Business Solutions. You can download that report for free here.

George Ogleby

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