Supported by the Sustainable Development Commission and the Department of Health


Evan Rees, chief executive, Social Enterprise East Midlands

Martin Gibbs, local government and community manager, Department of Health

Larissa Lockwood, policy analyst for health and sustainable development, Sustainable Development Commission

Winner Newham University Hospital Trust

Gateway surgical centre is not only an attractive model of sustainability, it is more than capable of rising to a range of clinical service needs

Gateway surgical centre is an£18m standalone NHS treatment centre for planned day-case and surgical short-stay surgery. The centre, which has the capacity to deliver 9,500 operations a year, uses design and the latest technology to help give patients a better experience. It also incorporates sustainable approaches to construction.

The way a building looks can have a therapeutic effect, reducing stress and improving recovery. It can also make it easier for visitors to find their way around. A water feature and bronze statue draw people into the centre, which is furnished in colours chosen by patients and staff. Windows go from floor to ceiling to create a feeling of light and space. Paintings were provided by a local school. There are 65 beds, half the rooms are single and all have an ensuite bathroom.

ProCure21 principles were used to develop effective collaboration with the trust's construction partner, which made a more innovative approach to design and construction possible.

Wireless technology means patients' records can be accessed by their bedside. Passive motion detectors are used throughout the building to reduce energy consumption. Linoleum flooring was laid because it is biodegradable and non-toxic. All wooden products in the centre are from sustainable sources. Treated rainwater is used to flush toilets. Solar panels and wind turbines provide the energy for car park lighting. Natural ventilation has been maximised to reduce the need for air conditioning.

A 350m pneumatic tube allows specimens to reach the main hospital site in two minutes, removing the need for shuttle vehicles and cutting carbon emissions. Over 2,000 plants and trees have been planted around the centre.

The centre, built in just 53 weeks, is not only attractive and built on sustainable principles but is flexible enough to respond to a range of clinical services required by the trust. It has four floors, with consultation and treatment rooms on the ground floor, wards on the first and second floor, and theatres on the fourth floor.

Gateway surgical centre, contact

Finalist Nottingham University Hospitals Trust

Medilink is a bus service running between Nottingham's two hospitals. It operates Monday to Friday, is free to all users, including patients, staff and medical students

Medilink was set up in partnership with Nottingham city council and is designed to improve access to services, reduce traffic on the sites and cut expenditure on business travel between sites. Before Medilink was set up, passengers would have to change buses in the city centre to get from one hospital to the other. Both hospitals spent considerable sums of money on transferring staff, students and x-rays between sites, and heavy private car use was having an impact on both sites - for example increasing the level of exhaust emissions in an area which already has poor-quality air.

Medilink, contact

Finalist Barts and the London Trust

Actions for Community Employment tries to get as many local residents as possible into the Tower Hamlets trust's entry-level jobs

The project, which is run by the trust in partnership with Employment Solutions and Jobcentre Plus, has opened up a job market in one of the most deprived areas of the UK. Since it was extended to all departments in February 2005, the project has identified around 300 vacancies a year and ringfenced them for east London residents. The trust is based in Tower Hamlets, where 34 per cent of the population is Bangladeshi, a group which has an unemployment rate of 20 per cent. Since the project started, 150 people have found work, 42 per cent of whom were Bangladeshi.

Actions for Community Employment, contact

Finalist Groundwork and NHS North West

This project aimed to open up the massive purchasing power of the NHS to local businesses

The NHS spends£2.2bn in the North West on goods and services. Improving communication with local businesses about this spend, and supporting them to bid successfully for contracts, translates into economic benefits for the region. The authority's approach was to build a partnership with all NHS procurement teams and regional procurement hubs in the North West. It drew up a toolkit for NHS trust boards to help them implement the new approach to procurement. This entails helping local businesses develop the necessary edge to secure more contracts. The suppliers bureau's programme covers health, safety and environmental training, plus business development.

North West NHS suppliers bureau, contact

Finalist East Lancashire PCT

The Chai Centre brings healthy living to people in a predominantly Asian area

Residents of Daneshouse in Burnley suffer a relatively high level of illness, premature death, substance misuse, and poor mental health. The Chai Centre aims to improve the health and quality of life for local residents, tackle health inequalities, and promote social cohesion. Its range of services includes a gym, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, smoking cessation, complementary therapies, and sports massage. A mix of healthy South Asian and English cuisine is offered. The Burnley Positive Mental Health initiative is based at the centre.

The Chai Centre, contact

Finalist Nottingham University Hospitals Trust

Local sourcing of catering supplies and a commitment to retraining staff marked this project out

As part of its Good Corporate Citizenship project, the trust has been buying food locally. It began by tweaking the menu to suit local supply, for example, offering seasonal vegetables, so it can take whatever is being grown at the time. It buys all its milk - up to 1,000 pints a day - from a dairy that is only 11 miles from the hospital, reducing food miles. Ninety-five per cent of the trust's meat is bought locally, and it is working on a similar approach with fruit and vegetables. The trust works with Jobcentre Plus to retrain people with no previous catering experience.

Socially inclusive catering in the NHS, contact