DRONES fitted with thermal imaging cameras are being used to build up a picture of where heat is escaping from NHS buildings.

Solent NHS Estates and Facilities has teamed up with a specialist drone company to carry out a night-time flight over its freehold buildings around Southampton and Portsmouth.

Sites surveyed include Bitterne Health Centre and Western Community Hospital.

The drones captured detailed pictures of each site using a thermal imaging camera.

The work was carried out at night in order to get an accurate picture that would not be affected by the sun shining onto the buildings during daylight hours.

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The survey is part of Solent NHS Trust’s ongoing carbon reduction drive and gave the team the chance to see first-hand where heat was escaping through the fabric of each building, with red indicating hotter temperatures.

Energy could be lost through poor quality windows, inadequate roof insulation or other sources.

Now Solent Estates has this information, the next step is to put together a programme of works to address each of the areas of heat loss within each building.

Mark Young, associate director of Estates Transformation, said: “With the NHS commitment to Zero Carbon, it is essential we understand how our current buildings are performing in order to know how best to improve them.

“It is often the simplest measures, such as improved insulation and upgraded windows, that can have the biggest impact. Use of technologies, such as the thermal imaging by drone, give us a perspective we wouldn’t have previously had.”

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