Consider the state of the UK public sector for a moment

If you believe everything you read in the media, we are facing overcrowding in A&E; cuts to education, a £2bn budget shortfall in the NHS, reductions in local authorities’ services, and services under unprecedented pressure – it all sounds pretty grim. Politicians throw up their hands in despair, and people point fingers in hopes of finding something or someone to blame.

It is certainly true that public sector workers are feeling the pressure of salary freezes while being asked to do more every day.

But, how can we help to improve the state of the NHS?

What solutions are available? Unsurprisingly, many public sector organisations have taken the difficult (but relatively quick return) solution of making cuts – technology budgets, staffing and services are all experiencing cost reduction. This has a significant impact on those who are supported and protected by these services, including the most vulnerable in our society.

There is an alternative. What if we could take some of the stings out of the cuts while enhancing the public sector’s financial resilience if we could reduce financial pressures while improving services and reducing their impact on the environment? This is precisely what a number of public sector organisations, led by the NHS, are doing through innovative sustainability programmes.

Programmes that have been put in place

Sustainability programmes must adapt to and support the delivery of their organisations’ business and strategic objectives. For example, at Essentia, we are working with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to develop a portfolio of energy efficiency works that will ensure the Trust achieves its required carbon reduction targets and saves over £1.3 million each year, as well as improving collaboration across its £1 billion capital development programme.

Wifi services within hospitals are being surveyed and upgraded to ensure that they work seamlessly.

Through the energy savings programme, the capital development team is empowered to ensure projects consider energy management and works across projects to rationalise equipment and make sure the Trust estate can adapt to future service needs.