UCL Changemakers


Implementing a ‘Green Bag’ Scheme in the UCLH Pre-Operative Clinic

This case study explores a student-run project aimed at decreasing medical waste by encouraging patients to bring their own prescribed drugs with them when admitted for a prolonged hospital stay.

20 July 2021

Case study by Manuela Sadik

What was the aim of your project?

We aimed to increase the use of PODs (patient’s own drugs) by patients admitted for elective surgery.

What did you do?

We implemented a ‘Green Bag’ scheme in the pre-operative admissions clinic at University College Hospital. 

What were the main successes of the project?

The motivation, drive and persistence of our team was our main success. Despite many challenges, the team remained strong, motivated and dedicated to this project. The innovative thinking of the individual team members, particularly when thinking of ways to overcome these challenges, were also fantastic. 

What difficulties did you face during your project? What would you do differently?

Our main issue was time-related. The short timespan of this project meant that we were unable to collect enough data to indicate whether our Green Bag initiative had been successful in creating change. This was primarily because the amount of time between when each patient was pre-assessed and when they were admitted for surgery varied, with some waiting for more than three months to be admitted. So if we were to do this project again, we would designate more time for data collection. To determine how much extra time would be necessary, we could discuss the average time frame of a patient’s pathway with multiple healthcare professionals, and use this information to reshape the project plan.

What impact has your project had? On whom?

This project has formed the foundations of a QI initiative that will hopefully improve the experience of patients admitted for elective surgery during their hospital stay. Initiatives like the Green Bag scheme will also reduce medical waste, positively impacting the hospital. We hope that this project will inspire University College Hospital to explore potential methods of increasing PODs usage.

Apply to start a ChangeMakers project

Find out how to apply for your own funding or visit our ChangeMakers Resource Bank for information, tips and resources to help you plan for and undertake a ChangeMakers project.