In a world where advanced technology is leading to demographic changes and longer life expectancy, modern healthcare faces huge challenges.
Not just in terms of logistics, but in helping to remain sustainable and reduce waste at a time where tackling the climate crisis is of paramount importance.
One such solution is the use of modular innovation to help with space, scalability, time, and cost pressures.
Modular solutions are already being used to help businesses provide office space, for retail stores, and even houses.
Sustainability Goals in Healthcare
The NHS has traditionally been a major producer of carbon emissions in England, and faces challenges and opportunities to help tackle climate change by becoming more sustainable.
The Greener NHS programme was launched to help it become the first net carbon zero health service in the world.
It is clear that there is a growing significance on the need for the NHS to be sustainable and actions have been taken to try and achieve those goals.
First and foremost is the idea of delivering care closer to people’s homes thus avoiding the carbon cost of travelling, while switching from disposable to reusable equipment.
Additionally, using technologies that avoid plastics in medicine supply and working alongside pharmaceutical companies to reduce emissions from high-carbon medicines like inhalers and anaesthetic gases.
There are specific examples over the country of efforts being made. For instance, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust piloted a daily river boat service to try and improve air quality, while plans were put in place for Airedale Hospital in Yorkshire to become the first carbon-neutral hospital in Europe back in December 2021.
The overall aim is to reduce carbon footprint, minimise waste and conserve resources. Modular buildings can help achieve these long-term targets.
Modular Innovation in Healthcare
Healthcare providers are facing constant challenges when trying to become more sustainable.
Changes in patient demographics, greater expectation on hospital accommodation,and increasingly tightening budgets are all factors to contend with before it even gets to the challenges of reducing carbon and managing waste.
Modular solutions, including modular building hire, are helping to play a big part in achieving these goals, though.
Modular buildings are increasingly popular because of the time, money, and resources they can save as opposed to more traditional methods. They also offer flexibility and scalability – an important factor in a changing world where creativity with space is needed.
Using modular solutions helps to minimise disruption to live hospital sites, uses significantly less waste than a traditional build, is able to provide swift delivery for urgent medical requirements, as well as increased productivity and control.
Moreover, they are more cost effective, have quicker supply chains, help to reduce carbon footprint and can improve health and safety.
Algeco, a leader in modular solutions, are among those to have provided solutions to healthcare space issues.
James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with a catchment population of around 250,000 covering Great Yarmouth and Waveney, required a long-term site to use as a GP streaming service, in the hope of reducing pressure on A&E waiting times. Using six modules, a series of consulting rooms were created connected by waiting rooms and corridors. The company’s part of the project was completed in just 13 weeks.
They also helped to build a permanent building that would house an advanced eye clinic at Pinderfields hospital, with large elements being able to be completed off site. The rapid scale of production meant that services were running extremely quickly, while at the same minimising disruption to the hospital.