Today is World Water Day, the UN-led initiative to celebrate water and raise awareness of the global water crisis. This year’s theme is making the invisible, visible and we wanted to shine a light and make visible the role we have played over the last year in ensuring that sustainable water use sits at the heart of safe and effective healthcare in the UK. Since World Water Day 2021, worldwide leaders gathered for COP26 and the UK Government has continued to drive forward world-leading climate change targets. Despite this welcome progress, there is still much more to be done in driving sustainable water usage in the UK and around the world. Water is essential in delivering safe healthcare, and as one of the largest users of water in the UK, it is crucial that the NHS is supported by Rada to meet the UK’s ambitions for climate change and reduce the global water crisis.
Reflecting on 2021
2021 was a year of increasingly concerning climate events and stark warnings about the impact that our lifestyles and consumption are having on the planet, with studies showing that two thirds of the global population faced water shortages. Promisingly, NHS England has committed to becoming net-zero by 2045, alongside 50 other countries who have all pledged to build climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26).
Rada’s solutions support greater sustainability through optimising run-times and minimising water wastage by reducing the need for duty flushing. Since the NHS accounts for 4% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, it is clear healthcare settings have a key role to play in tackling climate change and water scarcity. Rada’s innovative and unique water delivery solutions drive year-on-year reductions in energy and water consumption, supporting the Greener NHS ambitions of using innovative technology to improve patient outcomes with a reduced impact on the climate.
Future gazing: Using technology to ensure safe and sustainable water use
We must also acknowledge the dangers that mismanagement of water can cause and the importance of ensuring our water is safe and free from harmful bacteria that can cause healthcare associated infections, like Legionella and Pseudomonas. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to a renewed global focus on the vital role infection prevention plays within hospitals and estates. Our taps, showers and water controls are designed and engineered to reduce the build-up of harmful bacteria and prevent cross-contamination, reducing the risk of healthcare associated infections and water-borne pathogens.
The speed of adoption of new technology during the pandemic – such as virtual wards, artificial intelligence and new diagnostic methods – has led to a renewed focus across the NHS of ‘doing things differently’. At Rada we understand how harnessing the power of data can radically reduce the amount of water used in healthcare. Our pioneering technology provides greater access to water usage data, allowing our partners in healthcare to improve patient outcomes, drive operational efficiencies, and demonstrate compliance with national guidelines on water usage.
In the face of growing acceptance that global pandemics are a constant threat, prioritising smart design and engineering in hospitals is crucial. Investment should be made in water delivery systems that promote good handwashing practice and make infection control and compliance easier to achieve. Since the threat of water-borne diseases like Legionella and Pseudomonas are here to stay, selecting innovative water delivery solutions that keep patients, staff and the public safe is crucial.
As we look to the future, enhancing safety and quality in the health and care system will be fundamental for supporting the overall health of the global population. Whether minimising the spread of infections, reducing the risk of cross contamination, or supporting in the fight against climate change, we provide our partners in healthcare with the products they need to ensure safe and sustainable water. By partnering with Rada and supporting our vision for water use, our stakeholders are investing in the future of healthcare delivery, delivering long-term sustainability for the health service and the overall health of the world in 2022 and beyond.
Author: Stuart Skinner