Hospital lighting project draws LEDs into public sector

A hospital trust in the UK is to participate in a government initiative to hasten the market entry of innovative and sustainable technologies, including LED lighting.

A hospital trust that is part of the National Health Service (NHS), the UK's public-sector health provider, will participate in a scheme that should provide companies with the opportunity to supply innovative, ultra efficient lighting (UEL) technology into this market.

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has just announced a market consultation process in partnership with the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the Department of Health (DH), and the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA).

The Trust has identified a requirement for smart and ultra-efficient lighting solutions for its "Future Ward" refurbishment project that will run over a 7-year period from 2009. The estimated value for the lighting component is £2 million.

The market sounding exercise provides the supply chain with an opportunity and a framework through which it can inform and shape procurement strategy, design and specifications for advanced lighting products.

This applies not only to the Future Wards programme at the Rotherham, but also to other NHS refurbishment and new build projects. There are a number of other Trusts and organizations which have indicated similar requirements and interest in UEL. The scale of the market within the NHS is very substantial.

Forward Commitment Procurement (FCP)

This project is one of the first to adopt the Forward Commitment Procurement (FCP) model, developed by the UK Government to hasten the market entry of innovative and sustainable technologies. FCP is described as providing "a practical mechanism to harness the power of public sector procurement to create much needed innovative solutions for pressing environmental problems, such as climate change."

This project will accelerate the up-take of ultra-efficient lighting in the NHS, helping to realize the environmental benefits sooner, as well as delivering energy savings and best value to the NHS. It should also help to drive innovation in this emerging industry sector and provide a focus for the development of the supply chain.

Participation

The market sounding exercise was announced in the Official Journal of the European Union earlier this week. The Prospectus (setting out the context and requirements, and giving some useful background information) and a response form can be found at www.rotherhamhospital.trent.nhs.uk/uel. The deadline for submissions is the October 31, 2008.

A supply chain workshop sponsored by BERR will be held in London near the end of September 2008. The workshop will provide an opportunity for the supply chain to discuss the requirements set out in the market sounding Prospectus and explore the potential for the supply chain to respond with innovative solutions. Regional workshops may also be run over the autumn. To register to attend the workshop, please send your full contact details to Geoff Archenhold.

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

The 24/7 environment of the NHS means that lighting represents a significant percentage electricity consumption, making it an ideal "lead market" for innovative lighting.

Good lighting makes a significant contribution to creating the right environment in a hospital or clinic and can help create both an operationally effective and patient-centered, healing environment.

The Trust has said that it wants to achieve a step change in the patient experience, including the incorporation of "highly efficient, smart lighting systems that can deliver economical carbon reductions while at the same time contributing to a pleasant and healthy environment for both patients and staff."

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