Get involved

Sexual Health and HIV team win award for green innovation

Organisation: University Hospital Sussex
Location: Claude Nicol Centre at Royal Sussex County Hospital and the Morley Street Clinic

Evolving Care

What's the idea?

Inspired by the Trust's Environment Week a multi-disciplinary group in HIV services, SHAC and pharmacy known as the green team decided to take on single use plastic in sexual health care. They championed the use of reusable metal speculums for use with patients in examinations. 

First they conducted a survey to establish who was already using them, and in what situations, and whether there was an interest in those that weren't in making the switch. With positive feedback the team set about establishing training sessions to ensure colleagues felt comfortable using the metal speculums and patient care was not compromised and had practice in safely sterilizing the equipment for reuse. 

After a pilot which was successful, the use of metal speculums is now more standard practice within the sexual health teams.

EV van at charge point with the Care Without Carbon logo on the side

Impact of the project

Money saving

Reuse is cheaper than buying in throw-away kit
reuse recyling bin

Reduced carbon emissions

Plastic waste has a carbon footprint, any reduction contributes to lower emissions.
plastic speculum in plastic wrap

Cathy Harman Award winning idea

The award acknowledges and rewards innovation and service modernisation in the field of sexual health.
pad with sexual health on it

How you could implement a similar idea

If your Trust has a Green Champions network get involved and see what support is available. Many of the Green Team members behind this award winning innovation in care are also part University Hospitals Sussex Green Ambassadors programme.

If not your Quality Improvement Team can support.

Conduct a short informal poll with colleagues to see if there is support for any change ideas you may have.

Resources to get you started

The Gov.UK website has some information on innovative projects in sexual health:



What else can I do?

Already got an idea?