This research briefing paper was prepared in collaboration with the Institutional Rhythms and Energy Demand Working Group and presented to the Northern England Sustainability and Health Network. It provides ideas and suggests potential opportunities for energy and mobility demand management in the NHS.
The paper examines two examples of ordinary working arrangements that hold in place particular patterns of demand for energy and travel: the first is the discharge process and the second patient transport.
It describes the sequences and synchronisations of the ordinary working activities involved that result in energy-intensive pinch points in ways of working and the boundaries of responsibility that hold them in place. Potential opportunities are identified in reconfigurations that are already taking place in hospitals, that might be adapted and adjusted, to shape patterns and profiles of demand for energy and travel and reduce associated carbon emissions.
With Greg Marsden and Elizabeth Shove, we submitted a response from DEMAND to a Government Consultation on the Industrial Strategy Green Paper.
The consultation was for views on the approach to building a modern industrial strategy that addresses long-term challenges to the UK economy.
We responded to two specific questions:
Q27 What are the most important steps the Government should take to limit energy costs over the long-term?
Q34 Do you agree the principles set out above are the right ones? If not what is missing?
In response, we say that the industrial strategy pays considerable attention to energy systems and infrastructures – but none at all to a symmetrical discussion of demand. We go on to elaborate on how that missing topic might be included, drawing on ideas and research from the DEMAND centre.
On the 7th February 2017, we held the second working group meeting for the Institutional Rhythms project. This time the working group met at Airedale General Hospital and began to develop outputs based on conceptual contributions taken from the project and two practical case examples presented by working group members.
Jo Davy and Frank Swinton presenting Rapid Improvement work on discharge at Airedale Hospital.
Alexis Keech, Head of Environmental Sustainability for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, presented on some of the issues resulting from increasing demand for patient transport and on how the service was responding to these increasing pressures. Jo Davy, Head of Quality Improvement at Airedale, presented on work at Airedale to improve patient discharge and flow.
The working group used concepts developed in the first meeting about temporal sequences, cycles, and institutional rhythms to work through potential new opportunities for shifting temporal arrangements to manage and steer demand for hospital services and patient transport.
Working group members enjoying floorball on a narrow and obstacle filled pitch. But at least it wasn’t forty degrees this time!
As aways there was, of course, time for a (slightly unorthodox) game of floorball!
The third and final meeting of the working group will take place in Leeds on the 23rd May where the group will work on developing further example cases and strategies for disseminating outputs from the project across the NHS.
Click here for more information on the Institutional Rhythms and Energy Demand Working Group process and outputs.
On the 13th September 2016, we held the first impact workshop for the Institutional Rhythms project. The Institutional Rhythms and Energy Demand working group, which brings together hospital staff, managers, and clinicians; sustainability professionals working in and with the NHS; and academics working in the DEMAND centre, met for the first time at Lancaster University. The aim of the working group is to explore the potential scope that large institutions (like hospitals) have for shifting the timing of working arrangements as a way of steering demand for energy, travel, and consumables, and for reducing related carbon emissions and costs to the NHS.
In this first of these three linked events, the working group learned about the DEMAND centre’s innovative approach to end use energy demand, investigated opportunities for intervention arising from the Institutional Rhythms project, and tackled two specific sticky problems for energy demand and travel in hospitals. (There was, of course, also enough time to squeeze in a game of floorball!)
A full report and set of photographs from the first workshop are available here.
The next working group meeting will be held at Airedale General Hospital on the 7th February 2017 when members will begin collaborating on a series of case studies inspired by Institutional Rhythms project, that can be disseminated across the NHS as examples of opportunities for reconfiguring the timings of working arrangements as a way of shaping patterns of demand for energy, travel, and goods.