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.
As part of the Institutional Rhythms project, we held a series of three non-academic workshops designed to bring together researchers and professionals working on issues of sustainability to co-develop innovative approaches to energy and mobility demand management in the NHS.
The working group consisted of 20 members including NHS sustainability leaders working in hospitals, businesses, and not for profit organisations. Organisations represented include Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, and UCL universities; Airedale, Blackpool, Liverpool, and Leeds hospital trusts; Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Cumbria Outpatient and Patient Transport, Global Action Plan, Lancashire NHS Environmental Procurement, and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. Participant list and details here.
The series of workshops and the working group’s activities led to the production of the research briefing paper: Institutional Rhythms: Ideas and Opportunities for Energy and Mobility DEMAND Management in the NHS which was presented to the Nothern England Health and Sustainability NHS Network as part of the final meeting. Following the final event, the Institutional Rhythms project and the briefing paper were featured on the home page of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit’s website. Permanent link.
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.
With Greg Marsden and Elizabeth Shove, we prepared a response from DEMAND to a call for evidence from a Government consultation on the governance, structure and operation of the National Infrastructure Commission.
We responded to the discussion paper on The Impact of Population Change and Demography on Future Infrastructure Demand.