THE trust behind Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) has announced new measures in a bid to be greener.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), which runs hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, has launched its own bamboo reusable coffee cups, and offers customers a free drink when first purchasing the cup.

Like many coffee chains across the country, the hospital restaurants also offer 30p off to anyone using their own reusable cup.

In an effort to reduce plastics in the hospital restaurants, staff and returning visitors are also encouraged to bring in their own clean containers for takeaway food instead of opting for the one-use disposable containers provided in the servery, and the catering team are gradually replacing disposable plastic cutlery with metal alternatives.

The catering team are also planning the next phase of initiatives to help the trust go green. These include providing an alternative to plastic cups for water and encouraging staff to bring their own reusable wide-necked water bottle to refill throughout the day.

Numerous recycling points have been introduced across the three hospitals, and a recent initiative has seen the trust divert its first 20 boxes of used uniforms and shoes to Intercare, a charity that re-homes medical aid to Africa.

The trust also makes an effort to redistribute, reuse and recycle surplus resources such as furniture, non-medical equipment, fixtures and fittings within the organisation. In July alone, 670kg of waste was diverted by finding the supplies a new happy home elsewhere within the hospitals.

Wild flower areas have also been introduced to encourage wildlife to the sites.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive, said: “We are committed to doing everything we can in our hospitals to tackle this serious issue, and I am really encouraged by the way our staff have taken on this challenge, continually getting in touch to suggest new ways we can be environmentally friendly at work.

“Our sustainability manager is working brilliantly with the catering department and other teams across our Trust to find new ways we can reduce our environmental footprint, and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone.”