Spire Cheshire Hospital accelerates race to go carbon neutral

29 May 2023

Spire Cheshire Hospital is delivering a package of environmental measures as part of a major drive to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The most ambitious of these is the installation of a new chiller system to service three of the hospital’s operating theatres, as well as the recovery, day care and sterile services department. The previous chillers pumped heat out as waste into the atmosphere, but heat generated by the new chiller units will be reclaimed and used to heat water in the hospital. This investment has reduced the need for the hospital to use gas-burning boilers for heating, which in turn is expected to reduce the hospital’s carbon footprint.

The project to install the chiller units began in the spring and constitutes £750,000 of investment by Spire Healthcare. The new equipment was installed alongside the old equipment, to allow for a near seamless change over.

Newly installed chiller units at Spire Cheshire Hospital are one part of the hospital's £1.5m investment to meet its carbon neutral target by 2023

A number of other environmental projects have recently been put in place at the hospital:

  • A further £150,000 was invested in a new building management system which has optimised the way the hospital’s mechanical and electrical plant and equipment is used, enabling the most efficient energy usage within the hospital
  • Most of the lighting in the hospital was replaced with energy efficient LED fittings a couple of years ago, with the rest planned to be replaced in the coming 12 months
  • A member of the hospital’s engineering team has been appointed as its carbon champion, with responsibility for identifying potential new projects, and encouraging hospital colleagues to think about what they can do to reduce carbon usage
  • Plans are being developed to install a large array of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof that will generate some of the hospital’s electricity. This will see reduction in carbon emissions from this site of over 14 tonnes per year

These environmental projects are in addition to an on-going investment and upgrade project at Spire Cheshire Hospital. An additional £300,000 has been spent on upgrading the flooring in the operating theatres, recovery areas and corridors, as well as refurbishing and reconfiguring storage and office space to improve patient comfort and efficiency.

Ben White, Hospital Director at Spire Cheshire Hospital, said: “Busy and complex hospitals consume a lot of energy, so at Spire Cheshire Hospital we’re committed to playing our role to reduce our impact on the environment wherever we can. We’re pleased that our new chillers and the other environmental projects at our hospital are making inroads into reducing our carbon footprint.

“But the work doesn’t stop here. We want to build on the enthusiasm of our colleagues for addressing our environmental impact, and continue to think of ways we can do things differently, that will reduce our emissions further.”

In 2020, Spire Healthcare launched a decarbonisation strategy for all of its 39 hospitals, designed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 31 December 2030. It was the first independent sector hospital provider to make such a commitment, and £16m of investment over the next 10 years has been ring-fenced to help achieve this aim across the UK.

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