Keeping 5,000 kg of medical equipment from landfill: Meet The Wesley Hospital Sustainability Champion Clayre Gerrard

26 March 2024

Clayre Gerrard, Clinical Equipment Coordinator at The Wesley Hospital in Brisbane, has emerged as a remarkable advocate for sustainable healthcare, saving 5 tonnes of medical equipment from going to landfills this year alone.

Her dedication to this cause has earned her a nomination for the Sustainable Healthcare Champion Award Australia and New Zealand from the Greening the Healthcare Sector Forum.

Clayre's journey as a champion for the environment began as an ad hoc side project, extending beyond her responsibilities at the 535-bed Wesley Hospital.

She actively used her extensive network to locate local and international recipients who could benefit from retired clinical equipment, such as beds, armchairs, and hoists, as well as expired supplies.

To date, her matchmaking efforts have successfully rehomed nearly 500 beds and numerous other medical items no longer fit for purpose in the hospital environment.

In a recent development, in February and March 2023, Clayre established a partnership with the Rotary Australia Rehoming Equipment (RARE) program.

Through this single-point partnership, Clayre is working diligently to integrate an equipment and supply rehoming program into the hospital's equipment management and replacement process.

Her innovative approach will also serve as a model for UnitingCare's three other hospitals and 45 aged care facilities, demonstrating how rehoming programs can be scaled effectively.

The equipment Clayre has saved is now being directed to regional and remote Australian communities, used for emergency medical aid, and in some cases, sent overseas to countries like Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.

Her actions exemplify a personal commitment to health equity, stewardship, and planetary health.

Clayre's initiative at The Wesley Hospital is not only an inspiring example of sustainable healthcare in action but also a testament to the significant impact an individual can have when passionately pursuing a cause.

Her dedication showcases how 'job crafting' can be a potent strategy for Sustainable Healthcare Champions worldwide.

Clayre Gerrard's work is a testament to the positive change that one individual can make in the world of healthcare. The Wesley Hospital and the broader UnitingCare organization are proud to support her in her mission to reduce medical waste and create a more sustainable future for healthcare.

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