How one simple change could save the NHS millions: Nurses taking stairs instead of lifts could save £100m, startup StepJockey says

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Nurses should switch from taking the lifts to stairs (Source: Getty)

One simple change to an everyday habit in hospitals across the country could save the NHS millions of pounds, according to new research.

More than £100m could be saved if even just 15 per cent of the country's 348,000 nurses took the stairs instead of the lift while on duty, research from health and wellbeing startup StepJockey found.

It identified that the simple change would help in three different ways - saving the time of staff, reducing energy consumption of lifts and reducing staff absence by improving their health.

The simple nudge behaviour would result in big savings. 

The Department of Health (DoH) has been looking at ways to apply behavioural economics, and StepJockey does just that, using smart signs and apps to change the way people use stairs.

It raised £200,000 in funding from the Small Business Research Initiative which funds new public sector services and products, and a further £600,000 from private investors.

“Sometimes it is the simplest of changes that can make a difference," said behavioural economist and co-founder of StepJockey Helen Nuki. 

"A switch to the stairs would not just generate significant time, health and energy savings for the NHS, but would free-up hospital lifts for patients who most need them. It is the scale of the NHS and its centrally run property portfolio that make these significant savings not just possible but very much achievable,” she said.