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WVT switches on new fossil-fuel free green heating at County Hospital site

Press release – November 10 2022



With the climate under scrutiny at the ongoing COP27 UN Climate Change Conference, Wye Valley NHS Trust has made a timely change to help it look after the environment as well as its patients.

Earlier this month the Trust flicked the switch on a new ground source heat pump which means two of the buildings on the County Hospital site are now being kept warm without the use of fossil fuels.

And plans to convert the whole of the hospital site into a fossil-free fuel zone are progressing following a successful bid for £21 million of government cash.

This will allow the Trust to install more ground source heat pumps on the site, a move which is expected to reduce the amount of carbon produced to heat the hospital by around 97 per cent – equivalent to saving 3,715 tonnes of carbon a year going into the atmosphere.

The first phase of the Trust’s programme to reduce carbon emission came to fruition earlier this month after a £4.9 million government-funded works programme, lasting a year and a half, saw 47 boreholes drilled and ground source heat pumps installed.

These work by extracting what little heat there is in the ground and, using a heat exchanger, use it to heat the water which circulates in the heating system.

As part of the project, pipes were also lagged and a layer of solar panels were installed on the main hospital building’s roof. Lights were also converted to LED lights.

“It’s been a major programme to get to this point as each of the 47 boreholes are 200m (650ft) deep, but it’s been worth it,” said Alan Dawson, the Trust’s strategy and planning officer.

“The ground source heat pump, our newly installed solar array on the hospital roof and the 3,000 or so LED lights recently installed means we are generating some of our own heating and electricity and greatly reducing our carbon footprint. I’m pleased to say we are fossil fuel free in two of our buildings,” Alan added.

This is only phase one and the Trust is about to embark on part two of its integrated energy solution which will see more boreholes and ground source heat pumps being installed across the hospital site during the coming couple of years.

“Thanks to the work which has already been carried out, we have reduced our carbon footprint by around 600 tonnes a year (around 15 per cent) – saving us around £90k in fuel bills,” added Alan.

“Once we have extended the fossil fuel free programme across the whole of the hospital site, we estimate we will be saving around 3,715 tonnes of carbon a year (97%).”

That will put the Trust at the forefront of national requirements on the NHS Trusts to reduce their carbon footprints and will make Wye Valley NHS Trust one of the greenest Trusts in the UK.

A short video highlighting the first phase of the project was produced for this year’s Annual General Meeting – it can be viewed by following THIS LINK

Pic caption:

Contrtactors and WVT project managers in front of the boring machine


Note to editors:

About Wye Valley NHS Trust

  • Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
  • By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
  • With an estimated annual turnover of around £295 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

Fiona Gurney, communications officer, or John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928


Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

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