Barts Health NHS saves over £1million on water

barts hospital


With a turnover of £1.25 billion and a workforce of 15,000 dealing on average with 750,000 patients annually, Barts Health is the largest NHS Trust in the country, and one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers. Its aim is to be the most sustainable Trust in the UK by 2020.

The Trust spends around one million pounds a year on water, which makes up 20% of its overall utility expenditure.

Challenges & Actions

The Trust has worked hard to reduce its CO2 emissions across all services including energy, waste, water, travel and procurement and has reduced its building energy emissions by 43%.

This has helped the Trust achieve the Carbon Trust standard. Since 2009 the Trust has been making significant reductions in its water usage saving hundreds of thousands of pounds and millions of litres of water.

Barts began reducing its water usage and its water bills when it joined the AquaFund scheme in 2009. AquaFund is a private equity scheme. It provides grant money for water saving work at public sector organisations across the country. The savings achieved are split between the company and the Trust with 1% being donated to WaterAid on an annual basis.

Under the scheme Barts received a full grant, consultancy advice, site audits and state-of-the-art water saving technologies, together with water data and tariff analysis, bill validation services and so on.

There have been water shortages in the South East region of England for a number of years but in February 2012 it was officially declared a drought area. Households and organisations are now being asked to conserve water – something Barts and The London NHS Trust has now been doing very successfully for several years.” Fiona Daly Environmental Lead Barts and the London NHS Trust.

With many areas in drought, it is more important than ever for all organisations to reduce their water consumption. Barts and the London NHS Trust is leading the way in London and have been really forward thinking in their approach to the environment.” Patrick McCart AquaFund Director

Lessons & Results

Since the scheme began Barts and The London NHS Trust has reduced its overall water consumption by more than 30%, saving 100 million litres of water in three years. This is equivalent to reducing the shower time of every Londoner by 10%.

Reducing water consumption has also resulted in significant cost savings for the Trust, with some of those savings going to WaterAid, a charity which provides fresh water to the developing world.

Since Barts joined AquaFund the cost of sewerage and water charges has risen significantly but the Trust’s water bill has stayed the same at one million pounds a year. If the Trust had not been making water savings its latest water bill would have been around £1.3M so the organisation is saving around £300K a year on water alone.

There were no difficulties. AquaFund carried out a complete site survey, installed all water saving devices, provided maintenance advice and lifecycle information to the Estates teams.

In addition the scheme was subject to an OJEC procurement by the NHS and ADSM, the managing company for Aquafund. This means that NHS organisations can use the framework to procure services  without the need for formal tender, easing the path for procurement for those contracts valued over the threshold, currently circa £100K.

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