Corporate social responsibility

Carbon reduction commitments

The Group continues its registration under Priory Central Services with the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme for those meters that required registration as at 30 September 2010.  In 2012 our liability was £0.3m based on 26,712 tonnes of CO2 reported emissions. Our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint continue with structured investment in our energy efficiency programmes as and where identified, with the overall objective of reducing the group’s carbon footprint on an annual basis by 10%.

Ethical trading

With the continued help of our suppliers the Group attempts to purchase goods and services with the least environmental impact. The waste recycling, collection and segregation procedures continue to be provided by Veolia; in doing so during 2012 our first year of measurement, we have recycled some 20% of all trade waste as generated and the Group is targeting an increase to 30% in 2013.

We are supported by Brakes who as a supplier has numerous awards in recognition of their work to protect the environment and support communities. We jointly convert waste cooking oil to diesel, have our supplies packed within “topless” boxes creating a saving on cardboard and will only use corrugated and biodegradable packaging.

Estates and facilities

Following the major upgrade of the Group’s Acute hospital bedrooms, where we took the opportunity to replace electrical fittings with low energy units, we now routinely install low energy lighting units on new builds and during refurbishments and are standardizing low energy lighting replacements. This has achieved noticeable savings in energy costs in those units fitted with low energy lighting replacements. We also now only install low energy flat television and computer screens, which offer valuable carbon savings. As heating systems reach the end of their useful lives, or fail, we are replacing key components with energy saving devices.

The involvement of an energy consultant has allowed us to identify further opportunities to save energy at other sites, and to consider other forms of energy saving such as solar power generation, water harvesting and for new structures, ground source heating.

Quality and Safety

The Group has an established track record of clinical quality, demonstrated by robust outcome data made available to Commissioners. A number of our hospitals are recognised as a teaching environment by the General Medical Council. Our facilities have reported a high level of compliance with the Care Quality Commission and other regulatory standards such as those of Ofsted and other regulatory bodies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

The Safety, Quality and Compliance team is led by Sian Wicks, Director of Safety, Quality and Compliance.  The department provides leadership and direction to the Group and is split into three components under the direction of the Deputy Director Safety, Deputy Director Quality and Deputy Director Compliance. The team is responsible for providing support to the Group in delivering the safety, quality and compliance agenda. 

 The ISO 9001 accreditation awarded to the Priory Corporate Office in 2008 and retained each year, is a worldwide recognised and highly respected accredited quality assurance programme. This demonstrates the robust quality assurance tools in place which set out clear quality and safety framework of standards that need to be in place to deliver quality and safety services. This underlines the Priory Group’s commitment to providing a first rate service to our staff, visitors and most significantly to all our service users.

Human Resources – single equality scheme

The Group is committed to challenging discrimination and promoting equality for all. Our single equality scheme outlines our longstanding commitment to ensuring our services are accessible and appropriate for the diverse patient, resident and student community we serve and that our employment practices are fair, and value the workforce we employ. In choosing a single equalities approach, the company is acknowledging that it has responsibilities to tackle discrimination and promote equality that go beyond the positive duties set out in legislation. The single equalities approach also enables the company to effectively challenge multiple discrimination.

The single equality scheme is intended to inform our employees, patients, residents, students and their carers, visitors, contractors and all other stakeholders, of how equality and diversity is part of carrying out our core business and the actions we will take to ensure this happens. It is now the responsibility of all individuals in the Group to ensure we embrace the principles of our scheme and ensure they translate into the delivery of a truly inclusive service for our communities and in the Group being recognised as an Employer of Choice.

Employees

The directors recognise that the continued position of the Group in the health & social care and specialist education industry depends on the quality and motivation of its employees. Well trained, engaged and quality employees are crucial for the Group to ensure that service users receive the best quality care.

The key quality performance indicators the Group uses are: the employee opinion survey, employee sickness levels and compliance with the Group e-learning programme.   Low levels of sickness and high levels of compliance with training programmes indicate that the Group is successfully addressing quality and motivation of employees. 

Whilst monitoring these performance indicators, the Group continues to review its remuneration system to ensure it is fair, transparent, flexible and provides individual recognition. Its learning and development tool is used to ensure that all employees have a personal development plan that is monitored, assessed and modified during the annual appraisal process.

The Group recognises that good and effective employee communications are particularly important to retaining and motivating employees, and throughout the business it is the directors’ policy to promote the understanding by all employees of the Group’s business aims, purpose and performance. This is achieved through internal publications, presentations on performance and a variety of other approaches appropriate for a particular location. Employees are consulted on issues through workshops which are run regularly across the Group. Our communications have been reviewed and improved during the year, resulting in an updated intranet site and a weekly e-newsletter. Results of the employee opinion survey will drive further improvements.

The directors believe that it is important to recruit and retain capable and caring staff regardless of their sex, marital status, race or religion.  It is the Group’s policy to give full and fair consideration to applications for employment from people who are disabled, to continue wherever possible the employment of and to arrange appropriate training for, employees who become disabled and to provide equal opportunities for the career development, training and promotion of disabled employees.