The NHS was set up after the Second World War in 1948 to improve the health standard of the country. Over the past 75 years, it has become a symbol of unity that binds communities together – from north to south.
For almost a third of its lifetime, we have been proudly working in partnership with the NHS to ensure they can continue to provide the needed level of care in our communities. To achieve this, our expert teams maintain hospitals and equipment to deliver operational efficiency and in turn, help provide a smooth patient experience.
In the run-up to and during this occasion, we held celebratory activities and events across our healthcare sites, as well as donating funds and benches to Trust partners, towards their NHS75 fundraising. One of the hospitals on the Surrey and Boarders partnership contract, is using its donation towards a new NICU flat for parents and guardians of their patients while they undergo treatment.
Other celebrations included supporting the #LightUpBlue campaign at various sites across the UK and through celebratory flower displays, which we participated in. Events and visits are also on the list of NHS celebrations as Mayors and high-level MPs attended sites.
We strive to help the NHS reach its goal of becoming more sustainable through carbon reduction plans and reaching its net zero target of 2045 – from low energy use and decarbonisation to other projects such as refurbishments, upgrades, and energy-efficient solutions like EV charging points and LED replacements. We also provide energy-focused FM and continue to deploy and facilitate sustainable mobility – 66% of our healthcare sites have replaced vans with e-cargo bikes. Not only is our support functional but we also assist with asset lifecycle to increase efficiency and deliver optimum value to our NHS Trust clients whether that be through cost or energy savings.
We know that the NHS is nothing without its staff and that is why we also assist in improving staff retention, prioritising end-user wellbeing, and delivering innovative solutions, and will continue to do so. One of our priorities is reducing the impact of the challenges they face such as occupancy demand, health inequality, air quality, and patient flow.
With patient care being the NHS’ number one priority, we understand how the service we deliver and values we uphold to can help make a big difference in this respect. A great example of this is how we worked in collaboration with Broomfield Hospital, for a wellbeing-themed biodiversity project. The hospital opened its very own 'Biodiversity Garden' aiming to improve the natural habitat available to wildlife around the site and air quality through 216 CO2 absorbing and wildlife-attracting plants purchased with funding received from our CSR committee. The garden has, however, also provided patients with a sanctuary to take in fresh air, spend time with visitors and loved ones, particularly during Covid restrictions and undertake therapy sessions – all of which has assisted with patient recovery and wellbeing. Furthermore, the green space boasts a spectacular bumble bee 'bug hotel' entitled 'Hotel Buzz' which was designed by Adam Ledra, a student at Broomfield Primary School, and was built by Lee Ponting, a carpenter at Bouygues E&S, an Equans company.
We are constantly aiming to better our communities through the work we do with sustainability but also in social value and giving back to the community directly. Recirculate is one of these projects. Created in 2021 along with our partners InfraRed and Vercity, it sources donated products, renovates them, and locates them with NHS staff and children whose families cannot afford to purchase key items. The bikes are renovated in prison workshops at HMP Aylesbury, HMP Hewell & HMP Peterborough.
Over the last 2 months, Recirculate has given away almost 200 bikes to NHS staff and children with a parent in prison. Repurposed laptops have also been given to children who cannot afford to buy them.
Recirculate not only improves the social value of those living in local communities, but it also betters the environment as it sees the reduction of materials going to landfills, reduced emissions from the production of new bicycles, laptops, electrical equipment and furniture as well as reduced pollution.
Amelle Mestari, Director of Procurement and Sustainable Development on the Recirculate project, said: “As a business, social value plays a key role in our culture and service delivery. This project has been a great honour for Bouygues E&S to be a part of it alongside our partners InfraRed and Vercity. Embracing the principles of the circular economy by preventing waste going to landfill, Recirculate is having a positive impact on the environment as well as supporting local communities, promoting the wellbeing of key workers, improving air quality and supporting our healthcare clients with their green plans for transport."
Nicola Meadley, Project Manager for Recirculate, added: “There are so many good things about the Recirculate project. Cycling is brilliant for mental and physical health and of course takes cars off the road. If, by offering these free bikes, we create new cycling habits, we really are changing lives for the better. The project also provides prison inmates, who renovate the bikes, with the opportunity to learn important mechanic skills and experience the sense of a job well done.”
When we began working with the NHS almost 25 years ago, we made a commitment to help our healthcare clients meet their net-zero targets and support them on their sustainability journey. As we reflect on the past 75 years of the NHS, we are elated to be a part of this and are immensely proud of the work we have done over the years and the work we will continue to do.
Looking ahead, we look forward to carrying on creating a robust and resilient NHS that can withstand the impacts of climate change and the future challenges, ensuring that we are future proofing facilities for today and tomorrow.
Simon Hayman, Regional Director (Healthcare), concluded: “Bouygues E&S has had a long relationship providing services to the NHS and our employees are made to feel part of the hospital’s team. To be able to celebrate the first 75 years across our Healthcare portfolio with our NHS colleagues is a privilege.
We look forward to the next 75 years, working with the NHS to achieve its key priorities of net zero, reducing patient inequality, improving patient flow and using digitalisation to improve productivity.”