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Definition Health And University Hospitals Sussex Win NHS Sustainability Partnership Of The Year Award

Definition Health and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) have won the NHS Sustainability Partnership of the Year Award for their SBRI-funded study on carbon reduction through a personalised surgical journey.

Definition Health provides a suite of end-to-end preoperative digital solutions which support hospitals to increase capacity through greater efficiency, the improvement of preoperative patient education, and the closely linked patient care and outcomes – all of which fundamentally drive an enhanced patient experience. Definition Health has supported over 250,000 patients across the UK in 12 NHS Trusts. With greater digitisation of paper-based processes and a reduction in patient travel, the carbon footprint across the NHS is reduced. The University Hospital Sussex NHS Foundation Trust boasts a robust sustainability strategy and is committed to supporting the NHS to become the world’s first net-zero health service.

This project utilised the digital solutions provided by Definition Health to support Orthopaedic/MSK surgery and services at UHS to digitise the entire patient pathway from first referral to discharge, creating ‘Green Patients’ whose new pathway is predominantly digital over a six-month defined project timeline. Benefits of the project included a reduction in unnecessary trips to the hospital with c.24,000 miles avoided and greater sustainability with 7.6 tCO2 saved per 1,000 patients and c.60,000 pages of paper saved through digitisation.

One patient said: “I’m so glad that at long last I am able to complete pre-assessment questions in the comfort of my home.’’

Dr Rosie Scott, Definition Health Co-Founder, said: “As co-founder, I’m proud to accept the NHS award for Sustainability Partnership of the Year, in collaboration with our valued partners at University Hospitals Sussex. This award recognises and highlights the outstanding work of both the teams at Definition Health and University Hospitals Sussex, demonstrating our shared commitment to advancing sustainability within the NHS. Together, we’re playing a vital role in driving towards the NHS’s net zero goals, leveraging our innovative end-to-end surgical solution to reduce carbon emissions and enhance operational efficiency. Through our collaborative efforts, we believe we have set a powerful example for sustainable healthcare practices nationwide.”

Dr Benedict Rogers, Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon at Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted to accept this award, which highlights the impact changes in patient pathways can make to the carbon footprint of healthcare. The Department of Orthopaedics at University Hospitals Sussex is pushing hard to improve the sustainability of surgical practice, and this award is a recognition of the improvement made to date. We hope to further reduce the environmental impact of surgery by the ongoing collaboration of local, regional, and national partners and I would like to thank my colleagues who continue to contribute so much to this work.”

Supported by Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex – one of the 15 health innovation networks across England, established by NHS England in 2013 to improve health and generate economic growth by spreading innovation at pace and scale;

Nuala Foley, Associate Director Commercial and Enterprise, said: “The need to focus on sustainability is growing within the NHS and as such innovations and innovators need to grow their offering alongside that in order to be able to meet the targets set by hospital trusts for Net zero. We in Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex are delighted to see this award go to Definition Health for their work with University Hospitals Sussex, and commend both parties on their efforts to use innovation in a valuable way to make an impact in this area. As a long term supporter to Definition Health we have seen how they have adapted and pivoted their product in parallel with the growing needs of our local trust (s) and winning this award is an example of seeing these efforts come to fruition.”

This work was commissioned and funded by SBRI Healthcare. SBRI Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative, in partnership with the Health Innovation Network. The views expressed in the publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of SBRI Healthcare or its stakeholders.”