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Found 29 results
  1. Event
    Climate change has been recognised as the “biggest global health threat of the 21st Century”. Healthcare is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and there are steps which healthcare professionals and organisations can and should be taking to tackle this issue. In 2020, the NHS set out a bold ambition to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system by 2045. The Safety For All campaign is hosting a webinar on the topic of sustainability where attendees will have the opportunity to hear from a frontline health worker leading the sustainability charge within her NHS trust and the ABHI’s Sustainability Executive who will speak about the steps industry can take to improve sustainability. The webinar is open to everyone with an interest in the importance of sustainability in healthcare. The programme: 13:00 - Welcome by Charlie Bohan-Hurst, Safer Healthcare & Biosafety Network 13:05 - Presentation by Angela Hayes, CNS Palliative & Supportive Care, Clinical Sustainability at The Christie Foundation Trust 13:25 - Presentation by Addie MacGregor, Sustainability Executive at the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) 13:45 - Q&A session 13:55 - Conclusions and wrap up of webinar. Register for free
  2. Content Article
    Dr Kate Crossland, Guys & St Thomas' NHS Trust (2 March 2023) - as the founder of the national Palliative Care Sustainability Network, Kate talks about what motivated her to make sustainable changes in the workplace and influence changes across the wider Palliative Care field. Laura Jane Brown (14 January 2023) - talks about her recent work exploring NHS staff's attitudes to Net Zero. Dr Cliff Shelton, a leader, teacher and researcher in Healthcare Sustainability at Manchester Foundation Trust (1 December 2022) - discusses sustainable anaesthesia, peri-operative medicine and nitrous oxide manifolds. Professor Marion Lynch, Global Health Consultant and Research (24 November 2022) - talks about health and well-being to promote resilience, and empower nurses to create a modern and sustainable workforce. Rob Chuter, Christie Foundation Trust, Manchester, Radiotherapy Physicist (19 November 2022) - the Founder and Chair of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) Environmental Sustainability Group (ESG) chats about his passion for preserving our planet. Dr Fin Craig, Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Care, Great Ormond Street Hospital (1 November 2022) - shares his passion for all things green.
  3. News Article
    Scotland has become the first country in the world to stop its hospitals using the anaesthetic desflurane because of the threat it poses to the environment. NHS data suggests the gas, used to keep people unconscious during surgery, has a global warming potential 2,500 times greater than carbon dioxide. Banning it in Scotland - from its peak use in 2017 - would cut emissions equal to powering 1,700 homes a year. In the last few years, more than 40 hospital trusts in England and a number of hospitals in Wales have stopped using it. Dr Kenneth Barker, anaesthetist and clinical lead for Scotland's national green theatres programme, said he was shocked to find the anaesthetic drug he had used for more than a decade for many major and routine operations was so harmful to the environment. "I realised in 2017 that the amount of desflurane we used in a typical day's work as an anaesthetist resulted in emissions equivalent to me driving 670 miles that day," he said. "I decided to stop using it straight away and many fellow anaesthetists have got on board. "When you are faced with something as obvious as this and with the significance it has to the environment - I am very glad we have got to this stage." Read full story Source: BBC News, 3 March 2023
  4. News Article
    The number of overheating incidents in clinical areas reported by NHS trusts has almost doubled over the last five years, with directors saying ageing estates make them vulnerable to extreme weather events. Providers reported that temperatures went above 26°C – the threshold for a risk assessment – more than 5,500 times in 2021-22, according to official data. Overheating looks set to become an increasingly significant issue for NHS estates, HSJ was told, as climate change makes extreme weather events more frequent and more intense. Janet Smith, head of sustainability at Royal Wolverhampton and Walsall Healthcare Trusts, said: “We’re feeling it now. And it’s not going to change unless we do something about it. We need a climate resilient estate to actually deliver sustainable care.” An overheating incident is when the temperature surpasses 26°C in an occupied ward or clinical space in a day, with each area counting as a separate incident. When this happens, trusts should carry out a risk assessment and take action to ensure the safety of vulnerable patients. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 16 February 2023
  5. Event
    The SHARE conference (Sustainable Healthcare Academic Research and Enterprise) is an annual event co-hosted by the University of Brighton, Brighton and Sussex Medical School and Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. The SHARE 2023 conference is a free online event, on 12 May 2023. It is an opportunity to share your research, quality improvement, education or any other type of project related to improving the sustainability of healthcare. Register
  6. Content Article
    The Green Team Competition is a quality improvement initiative at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust run with support from The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, which encourages more sustainable ways of delivering healthcare. Teams were asked for ideas to cut carbon, but also help patient care and save money. Competitors, from endocrinology, palliative/supportive care, outreach, surgical theatre, radiotherapy and anaesthesia did just this – in bucket loads! The projects were varied and ranged from streamlining resuscitation equipment and preventing theatres delays/cancellations, to removing, literally, tonnes of carbon through leaky nitrous oxide pipework. The judges were bowled over with all the results, but awarded the palliative/supportive care team as winners with their photobiomodulation therapy for treating/ preventing oral mucositis. Photobiomodulation therapy is the application of light (usually a low power laser or LED) to promote tissue repair, reduce inflammation or induce analgesia. The ‘highly commended’ award went to the Endocrine/Ward 11 team (who looked at introducing screening tools to prevent hip fractures. The results of the projects were wonderful, predicting savings of over £550,000 a year. The environmental benefits were really impressive – with carbon reductions equivalent to doing 734 return journeys from Manchester to Kings Cross! But the real overall winners are our patients. As an example, In the Palliative/Supportive Care project, Alex Langstaff (the Clinical Nurse Specialist who led the project) was able to show not only massive cost and environmental benefits of photobiomodulation, but the huge impact on patients – which the judging panel were particularly impressed with. She demonstrated significant reduction in hospital admissions and clear improvements to patient’s quality of life. Alex is now working to buy six machines to embed photobiomodulation into future treatment regimens. The Green Team Competition has inspired green thinking amongst the competitors, why not think about your own ideas?
  7. Content Article
    In May 2022, a team at Solihull Hospital performed the world’s first net zero carbon operation. It involved a range of colleagues making several changes to their standard practice, including: using reusable gowns, drapes, and scrub caps giving medications through the veins for general anaesthesia rather than anaesthetic gases, which have a strong greenhouse effect implementing a plan for minimising electricity use, including heating and lighting recycling of single-use equipment used in surgery, working with industry partners recycling of “clean” paper and plastic waste using individually packed equipment, and only opening items as they were required one consultant surgeon jogged to hospital, and the other cycled. Safety and efficiency were maintained for the patient throughout, carried out within a full, day-long operating list, including surgery for three other patients.
  8. Content Article
    This year’s Lancet Countdown report, 2022 on Health and Climate Change (a collaboration of over 120 leading experts from UN countries and academic institutions) warns that ‘the health of people around the world is at the mercy of a persistent fossil fuel addiction’. The report makes it “clearer than ever that we are at a critical point” says Rachel Stancliffe, Director of The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, and that “if we continue as we are, including subsidising fossil fuels, we will be locked into a devastating future for the children of today”. The report states how alarming things have become – with a 68% increase in heat-related deaths amongst the most vulnerable population groups (infants and those over 65years) in the last four years. It claims that governments and companies continue to prioritise the fossil fuels above, and to the detriment of peoples’ health, jeopardising a liveable future. The Lancet Countdown report’s key message is that we face a critical juncture and states that a health-centred, aligned response to the crisis, can deliver a future where people can not only survive, but thrive. We owe it to future generations to heed this and act now!
  9. Content Article
    The impact of climate change on public health is extensive (see diagram from the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare below) and has been declared an ‘emergency’. The climate crisis threatens to undo the gains we made to public health over the last 50 years and threatens the lives of millions. It impacts on the most vulnerable members of society – those who contribute to global warming the least and who are least resilient to its effects. Avoidable deaths are happening now – we’ve seen the devastation caused by the recent floods in Pakistan, and the ongoing famine in Somalia means thousands face starvation. Both these are directly attributable to global warming. The climate emergency is literally on our doorstep and we have to act now – not in the future. We have to act in response to an emergency. As healthcare professionals we have a duty to care, to protect and promote public health. Our nursing unions agree and, as the most trusted profession for the 20th consecutive year, nurses are ideally placed to deliver this vital climate emergency health message. Working in a greener way should be an integral part of every nurse’s role – not just a job for some bloke in the Estates Team who’s changing a few old light bulbs and installing recycling bins! Sustainable ways of working clinically comes in many forms – from prescribing to reduce unnecessary pharmacological waste, to general dietary health advice to our patients (cutting down on meat and dairy is the most effective way an individual can reduce their own carbon footprint – by up to 70% and is great for the pocket and the waistline). Metered dose inhalers have a terrible carbon footprint, as do some anaesthetic gases. In my department, we’re exploring the use of a light-source treatment for cancer patients having chemo and radiotherapy – which maintains the mucosal lining and prevents the need for complex pain management, prolonged feeding regimes and, ultimately, hospital admissions. Living and working greener is just generally better all round – for our health and that of our planet. And if by looking after our planet our own health improves, then it’s win-win! What can you identify in your clinical practice to reduce waste and cost and help meet the Net Zero targets? Because it’s only by working together, that we’ve a chance of meeting them! We would love to hear what you and your trust are doing about sustainability and climate change. Is this something you've discussed at work? Share your good practice and ideas in the comment field below. Further blogs from Angela Climate change: why it needs to be on every Trust's agenda
  10. Content Article
    Two targets have been set For the emissions we control directly (the NHS Carbon Footprint), we will reach net zero by 2040, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2028 to 2032; For the emissions we can influence (our NHS Carbon Footprint Plus), we will reach net zero by 2045, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2036 to 2039. The report sets out the considerable advances that the NHS has already made in improving our carbon footprint and reducing the environmental impact of our services. It provides a detailed account of the NHS’ modelling and analytics underpinning the latest NHS carbon footprint, trajectories to net zero and the interventions required to achieve that ambition. It lays out the direction, scale and pace of change. It describes an iterative and adaptive approach, which will periodically review progress and aims to increase the level of ambition over time.
  11. News Article
    The World Health Organization (WHO) and almost 200 other health associations have made an unprecedented call for a global fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. A call to action published on Wednesday, urges governments to agree a legally binding plan to phase out fossil fuel exploration and production, similar to the framework convention on tobacco, which was negotiated under the WHO’s auspices in 2003. “The modern addiction to fossil fuels is not just an act of environmental vandalism. From the health perspective, it is an act of self-sabotage,” said the WHO president, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, the head of the WHO’s climate change department, said the letter was a watershed moment. “This is the first time the health sector has come together to issue such a statement explicitly about fossil fuels,” he told the Guardian. “The current burden of death and disease from air pollution is comparable to that of tobacco use, while the long-term effects of fossil fuels on the Earth’s climate present an existential threat to humanity – as do nuclear weapons.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 September 2022 Further reading Climate change: why it needs to be on every Trust's agenda
  12. News Article
    The NHS is trialling a fleet of electric vehicles to help relieve pressure on ambulance services while also helping the NHS cut its carbon footprint. The vehicles are part of a £2.1m investment as the NHS becomes the first health service in the world to commit to reaching net zero by 2040, said NHS England, with eight ambulance trusts trialling 21 zero-emission vehicles of various types. Six of these new green vehicles are "dedicated to mental health response in the community", NHS England said. It emphasised that it hoped this development will "cut emergency response times for people with mental health needs and help reduce demand on traditional double-crewed ambulances". The new dedicated mental health response vehicles differ in design from traditional ambulances by having fewer fluorescent markings and a much less clinical interior, to help put patients at ease. However, they still carry the equipment needed to respond to the most serious life-threatening emergencies. NHS England highlighted that the all-electric vehicles can be deployed as a rapid response vehicle when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, "providing a safe space for healthcare workers to support patients with mental health needs". Claire Murdoch, national director for mental health, NHS England explained that the mental health response vehicles are an important addition to mental health care, and added: "we have a double win of being able to improve the experience of patients in crisis whilst also caring for the planet". Read full story Source: Medscape, 6 September 2022
  13. Content Article
    Related reading Climate change: why it needs to be on every Trust's agenda - blog by Angela Hayes, Clinical Lead Sustainability at the Christie Foundation Trust
  14. News Article
    Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.  The World Health Organization and the UK Government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today. Millions of people around the world breathe polluted air that puts their respiratory and cardiovascular health, and in some cases even their lives, at risk. Phasing out fossil fuels would be a major step in protecting health for current and future generations. More than a thousand health professionals have already endorsed the call for a treaty. Add your name to endorse the call for a treaty. Next week, the Global Climate and Health Alliance are planning a major press launch of the health community's letter calling for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and want to secure as many signatures as possible. They are encouraging healthcare professionals to help to build momentum by inviting two—or more—of your health colleagues to sign the health letter before the launch on 14 September. Invite your colleagues to sign the health letter By clicking the link above, you'll be taken to a form where you can send a short note of invitation to a colleague to sign the letter. They will be sent your note, as well as a link to some additional information about the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. The form can only send one email at a time, but you use the form as many times as you wish.
  15. Content Article
    We know that NHS staff overwhelmingly support a greener NHS – almost nine in ten support the NHS net zero ambition. And this support is turning into action. Since 2010, the NHS has cut its carbon emissions by 30%. One year on from setting our net zero targets, the NHS is on track to reduce its emissions equivalent to powering 1.1. million homes for a year. This is thanks to NHS staff pioneering greener ways to reduce emissions across medicines, transport and healthcare buildings, as well as finding lower-carbon ways to care. Crucially, these changes are already improving patient care today, as well as the health and wellbeing of staff, patients and the public. In this video Dame Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive of Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust, shares how her organisation and others are helping to build a greener NHS – improving health now and for future generations. NHS England's ‘Healthier planet. Healthier people’ campaign, developed in collaboration with people across the NHS from a diverse range of roles, brings to life the link between our health and that of our environment. It aims to help staff discover how the NHS is becoming greener – and how staff action is already helping to improve the delivery of care for patients today, as well as improving health now and for generations to come.