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Found 80 results
  1. Event
    Energy-based devices, lasers and diathermy are some of the most commonly used pieces of equipment in operating theatres today. Dangerous emissions can be produced that affect the respiratory systems of everyone in the operating theatre. This study day will look at the occupational hazards of exposure to surgical plume in the operating theatre, as well as the associated risks to the surgical team, patients and visitors. It will also highlight how to assess risk and mitigate against the dangers of surgical plume and how to implement changes. Topics Include: Electrosurgery/diathermy/laser. Anaesthetic airway fires. Laparoscopic surgery aerosolisation. Health and Safety and risk assessment. Surgical plume. Register
  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
    Hospitals in England have recorded more than 450 sewage leaks in the last 12 months, data shows, putting patients and staff in danger and prompting warnings that the NHS estate is “falling apart” after a decade of underinvestment. Freedom of information requests to NHS trusts by the Liberal Democrats found alarming examples of sewage leaking on to cancer wards, maternity units and A&E departments. The investigation also uncovered multiple cases of urine and faeces flowing into hospital rooms and on to general wards. Health officials called the revelations shocking. In some instances, sewage leaks made entire hospital departments unsafe for patients and led to staff struggling to work because they felt nauseous and had headaches. Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: “This is a national scandal. Our country’s hospitals are falling apart after years of underinvestment and neglect. Patients should not be treated in these conditions and heroic nurses should not have the indignity of mopping up foul sewage.” “At every turn, our treasured NHS is crumbling, from hospital buildings to dangerous ambulance wait times. The government needs to find urgent funds to fix hospitals overflowing with sewage. Patient and staff safety is a risk if ministers fail to act,” he said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 February 2023
  4. Content Article
    Report chapters Air pollution and health. This covers the effects of air pollution on health, including inequalities Outdoor air pollution emissions and recent trends How air pollution is changing Outdoor and indoor air pollution solutions Air pollution chemistry, monitoring, forecasting and information City examples – work to reduce air pollution in Birmingham, Bradford and London Air pollution research and innovation
  5. Content Article
    The authors conducted a literature search to identify quality improvement initiatives that aimed to decrease the environmental impact of the operating room while reducing costs. Data were included from 23 unique quality improvement initiatives that described 28 interventions. Eleven (39.3%), eight (28.6%), three (10.7%), and six (21.4%) interventions, respectively, were categorised as refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle. The researchers found that the potential annual cost savings varied from $2,233 (intervention: transition to a waterless surgical scrub; environmental impact: 2.7 million litre of water saved annually) to $694,141 (intervention: education to reduce regulated medical waste; environmental impact: 30% reduction in regulated medical waste), although the methods of measuring environmental impact and cost savings varied considerably among studies. "The opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint falls squarely on us, and I see surgeons taking a prominent role in leading efforts, not just locally with their green implementation teams, but in setting national standards and policies that will move this effort forward for an overall sustainable way of approaching health care delivery," a coauthor said in a statement.
  6. News Article
    Doctors are prescribing heating to patients with conditions that get worse in the cold as part of a health trial. The Warm Home Prescription pilot paid to heat the homes of 28 low-income patients to avoid the cost of hospital care if they became more ill. Michelle Davis, who has arthritis and serious pulmonary illness, had her energy bills paid for and said the difference was "mind-blowing". "When the weather turns cold, I tend to seize up," she told the BBC. "It's very painful, my joints ache and my bones are like hot pokers." In 2020 Ms Davis spent most of the winter in bed, trying to keep warm and was admitted to hospital with pneumonia and pleurisy. But not in winter 2021. "You're not stuck in bed, you're not going to hospital, my children were able to have a life, they were able to go out and play and get cold," she said. Academics estimate that cold homes cost NHS England £860m a year and that 10,000 people die every year due a cold home. But that research was completed before the current cost of living crisis took hold. This first trial achieved such good results, that it's being expanded to 150 households in NHS Gloucestershire's area, plus about 1,000 in Aberdeen and Teesside. Dr Matt Lipson helped design the pilot programme and feels like this preventative step is a no-brainer for the health service. "If we buy the energy people need but can't afford, they can keep warm at home and stay out of hospital," he said. "That would target support to where it's needed, save money overall and take pressure off the health service." The change in patients was swift: "The NHS were telling us they were seeing a benefit much more quickly than pills and potions," Dr Lipson added. "It was taking days, not weeks and months." Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 November 2022
  7. Content Article
    Coroner's concerns 1 It is recognised that M. abscessus poses a risk of death to those who are immunosuppressed. That will be so for many patients at specialist hospitals such as Royal Papworth and more generally for hospital patients. To date, 34 patients at Royal Papworth have contracted M. abscessus from the hospital’s water. Cases continue to be reported, albeit at a declining rate. 2 There is an incomplete understanding of how M. abscessus may enter and/or colonise a hospital water system. 3 Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 Safe Water in Healthcare Premises was published by the Department of Health in 2016. It is concerned with the design, installation, commissioning and operation of hospital water systems. This guidance requires urgent review and amendment, whether by way of an Addendum or otherwise because: a. It is a key document for hospital estate managers and Water Safety Groups; b. It purports to provide comprehensive guidance on waterborne bacteria; c. However, it provides no relevant guidance in relation to mycobacteria and none in relation to M. abscessus. It provides no guidance on the identification and control of M. abscessus. It does not require routine testing for mycobacteria, including M. abscessus or provide guidance on acceptable levels (if any). Compliance with the guidance does not identify or guard against the risk from M. abscessus; d. It provides no guidance on any additional measures that may be required in respect of “augmented care” patients, including those who are immunosuppressed; e. It is not in any event consistent with British Standard BS 8580-2:2022 on Water Safety. 4 There is evidence that the risk from M. abscessus is especially acute for new hospitals. Consideration needs to be given to whether special or additional measures are required in respect of the design, installation, commissioning and operation of hospital water system in new hospitals.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. News Article
    Trusts need hundreds of millions of pounds to remediate dangerous roofs. A series of freedom of information requests submitted by New Civil Engineer has revealed five of the worst affected trusts have applied for £331.9m of additional funding to be spent on fixing reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete planks during the next three years. In response to NCE’s freedom of information investigation, Liberal Democrat deputy leader and health spokesperson Daisy Cooper said “patients are paying the price for years of neglect” by successive governments. “It is truly shocking that patients are being treated in crumbling buildings that could be at risk of collapse. The NHS is crying out for the funds to fix creaking roofs so that patients can be treated safely. The public needs to know that the funds to fix this are on the way as soon as possible.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 17 October 2022
  11. Content Article
    The ten principles explored are: Understand people's needs and capabilities Describe the tasks people do Consider tools and equipment Assess the physical environment Analyse organisational structure and processes Promote autonomy and professional growth Focus on the needs of patients in the community Facilitate communication across organisations Monitor work-as-done and adapt to achieve sustainable change Record and learn from feedback and events
  12. 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.
  13. News Article
    A senior NHS leader has warned of a “life-threatening” situation in which clinically vulnerable people are being admitted to hospital after having their energy supplies disconnected. Sam Allen, chief executive of North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), has written to Ofgem today to raise “serious concerns” that vulnerable people have seen their electricity or gas services disconnected as a result of non-payment. In the letter, which the ICB has published on its website, Ms Allen said the impact of energy supplies being cut off “will be life threatening for some people” and place additional demand on already stretched health and social care services. She wrote: “It has come to light that we are starting to see examples where clinically vulnerable people have been disconnected from their home energy supply which has then led to a hospital admission. “This is impacting on people who live independently at home, with the support from our community health services team and are reliant on using electric devices for survival. “An example of this is oxygen; and there will be many other examples. There is also a similar concern for clinically vulnerable people with mental health needs who may find themselves without energy supply. “Put simply, the impact of having their energy supply terminated will be life threatening for some people as well as placing additional demands on already stretched health and social care services.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 5 September 2022
  14. News Article
    Half of healthcare facilities worldwide lack basic hygiene services with water and soap or alcohol-based hand rub where patients receive care and at toilets in these facilities, according to a new report by WHO and UNICEF. Around 3.85 billion people use these facilities, putting them at greater risk of infection, including 688 million people who receive care at facilities with no hygiene services at all. “Hygiene facilities and practices in health care settings are non-negotiable. Their improvement is essential to pandemic recovery, prevention and preparedness. Hygiene in health care facilities cannot be secured without increasing investments in basic measures, which include safe water, clean toilets, and safely managed health care waste,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health. “I encourage Member States to step up their efforts to implement their 2019 World Health Assembly commitment to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in health care facilities, and to monitor these efforts.” The latest report, “Progress on WASH in health care facilities 2000–2021: special focus on WASH and infection prevention and control”, has for the first time established this global baseline on hygiene services – which assessed access at points of care as well as toilets – as more countries than ever report on critical elements of WASH services in their hospitals and other health centres. For hygiene, data are now available for 40 countries, representing 35% of the world’s population, up from 21 countries in 2020 and 14 in 2019. The newly established global estimate reveals a clearer and more alarming picture of the state of hygiene in health care facilities. Though 68% of health care facilities had hygiene facilities at points of care, and 65% had handwashing facilities with water and soap at toilets, only 51% had both and therefore met the criteria for basic hygiene services. Furthermore, 1 in 11 (9%) of health care facilities globally have neither. “If health care providers don’t have access to a hygiene service, patients don’t have a health care facility,” said Kelly Ann Naylor, UNICEF Director of WASH and Climate, Environment, Energy, and Disaster Risk Reduction (CEED). “Hospitals and clinics without safe water and basic hygiene and sanitation services are a potential death trap for pregnant mothers, newborns, and children. Every year, around 670,000 newborns lose their lives to sepsis. This is a travesty – even more so as their deaths are preventable.” Read full story Source: WHO, 30 August 2022