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Nearly £40m of energy saving upgrades to benefit OUH

The John Radcliffe Hospital has been allocated £24.1m

An estimated 5,000 tonnes of carbon will be saved every year as part of a decarbonisation and energy efficiency project at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH).

Low-carbon energy will be installed at the retained estate at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and Horton General Hospital in Banbury as part of a £37.3m programme that will considerably reduce OUH's carbon footprint and deliver financial savings.

The Trust was successful with two bids worth £29.8m across both hospitals as part of the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), which supports the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is initiated by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and delivered by Salix Finance.

A total of £24.1m has been allocated to the John Radcliffe and £5.7m allotted for the Horton General. OUH will pay £7.5m towards the wider scheme, taking the total expenditure to £37.3m over a three-year period.

The project involves the two hospitals being 'de-steamed', with the existing steam network to be decommissioned and replaced with new, cleaner, and more efficient pipework. The pipework will be heated by substituting gas boilers with low carbon electric heat pumps and additional energy efficiency measures.

In addition to significantly improving the efficiency through heat pumps, the new system also reduces:

  • Carbon emissions and carbon footprint
  • Water consumption
  • Water treatment costs
  • Operational and maintenance costs
  • Maintenance backlog

Solar panels and more efficient pipework insulation, as well as new double glazing and draught proofing, will be installed to improve energy efficiency.

Work is due to begin in the coming weeks at the John Radcliffe and Horton, and a plan will be developed to ensure that services on both sites remain operational and works are carried out with minimal disruption.

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer and Estates Lead at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This funding allows us to undertake transformative and significant works that will help achieve the Trust’s Green Plan objectives and with the added benefit of improving the comfort of our patients and staff in the older buildings."

Charmaine Hope, Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Development at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We thank the PSDS scheme for this funding. We will now be able to modernise our existing building portfolio to improve their energy efficiency by adopting a range of energy conservation measures in conjunction with low carbon technologies and quickly see a substantial improvement in our Trust's carbon footprint."

Stuart Kinton, Chair of the OUH Sustainability Network, said: "The OUH Sustainability Network is very excited to see this level of investment from both the government and the Trust. 

"This project will significantly help OUH on its journey towards the national target for a net zero NHS carbon footprint by 2040. Achieving this goal will take significant ambition and engagement across all areas of the Trust; this project is a great example of that level of ambition and investment."

Ian Rodger, Director of Programmes at Salix, said: "The project at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is an ambitious one and will deliver significant carbon savings and make the environment a more comfortable place to work and stay for staff and patients.

"The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding will be pivotal to helping the Trust reach its Green Plan goals and Salix is looking forward to working with the Trust as it progresses this decarbonisation journey."