A sustainability group at the Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust is creating wildlife refuges to encourage animals, birds and insects to take up home on hospital sites.
The Clinical Coding and Data Quality Sustainability Group was formed by members of staff within the service who have an interest in all things ‘green’, and work together to plan and implement initiatives to help make the organisation more sustainable.
The group developed plans to create wildlife areas at each of the Trust’s three hospitals – Dewsbury and District, Pinderfields in Wakefield and Pontefract. The interventions comprise of hedgehog homes, solitary bee homes and bird water baths, with the aim of making wildlife-friendly havens on Trust grounds.
The first of these projects has been completed at Dewsbury and is located within existing green space in the reflection garden area, which opened in June 2021 and provides staff with a quiet and relaxing place away from the hustle and bustle of hospital life.
Hedgehogs are a declining species in the UK and are becoming increasingly reliant on urban and suburban gardens. By providing safe places for hedgehogs to live, it’s much more likely to see these prickly creatures in our gardens and in the wild.
Most bees are actually solitary and do not make colonies, but are important pollinators and a gardener’s friend. The female spends most of her life searching for suitable nesting sites and a ‘bee hotel’ can provide a suitable home.
Trudy Harrison, Clinical Coding and Data Quality Project Manager, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to help our gardens at the Trust encourage wildlife and help them find refuge.
“The wildlife habitats are just the first of a number of sustainability initiatives we will be implementing throughout the year. Our group is always on the lookout for opportunities to improve sustainability not only in our service but in the wider projects we undertake.”
The group is one of a number of similar forums that are being established throughout the Trust – at a team, service or departmental level – to provide a local focus on green and sustainability activities within their area of work.
Peter Leighton-Jones, Head of Sustainability at Mid Yorkshire, added: “I’m delighted to see a staff group take the lead on sustainability in their area of work and highlight the impact that can be made at a local level by an individual service.
“As part of MY Green Plan, which is the Trust’s three-year sustainability roadmap, we have outlined a desire for our workforce to get involved in working groups to generate ideas, make positive changes and embed behaviours. Working together we can accomplish a great deal, and this is an important step in a journey we all need to be a part of. In addition, enhancing biodiversity is extremely relevant to the role we perform, given that connection with and exposure to nature are proven to be beneficial to human health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally”