In my previous blog in March, I talked about the Greener NHS agenda, which launched in October 2020, identifying a rapid path for the NHS to decarbonise and working to achieve net zero for the NHS carbon footprint (along with the wider supply chain) by 2045.
The challenge to decarbonise the NHS is significant as the NHS contributes to about 5% of the UK’s carbon emissions. Between 5% and 7% of all road traffic is NHS orientated.
In addition, around 7% of the UK’s healthcare estate is located in flood plains or is at risk from sea inundation in the next 30-50 years. The Humber, Coast and Vale area is likely to be affected by a sea level rise of between one and three metres by the end of 2100.
In order to achieve zero emissions in the timescales, we need to change our models of care, our estate, fleet and operations, our supply chain and, ultimately, how we provide treatments and care to patients. We also need to be prepared to adapt to the changes that climate change will inevitably bring and the effect it will have on our healthcare system.
The Humber, Coast and Vale Sustainability and Net Zero programme was introduced towards the end of the 2020 and has gained real momentum.
We are now launching a series of Climate Change Lunch and Learn sessions which will help us to contribute to this national programme of work, by sharing ideas on how to reduce the impact on public health and the environment and reach the ultimate goal of net carbon zero.
The first Climate Change Lunch and Learn event takes place this week, on Friday 28th May at 12.30pm, and I am looking forward to hosting these events alongside my counterpart, Frank Swinton, from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.
The event on Friday will be the first in a series of hour-long sessions to address the Climate Change challenges we face, and the impact these will have on our healthcare system, as well as the population we serve.
The sessions will take place on alternate Fridays via Microsoft Teams and will look at climate change, anaesthetic gases, meter dose inhalers, floods and climate adaptation, health inequalities, food and the impact of diet, PPE, procurement, biodiversity as well the impact on mental health, digital, waste and travel.
Speakers and attendees will explore the impact that healthcare has across the world and the impact that climate change will have on healthcare into the future.
These events are open to the public but are primarily aimed at healthcare staff and stakeholders, with a focus on encouraging health and care staff to change their behaviour to help reduce NHS emissions.
The first session focusses on climate change and the health impacts in Yorkshire. To register please visit: https://climatechangelunchlearn280521.eventbrite.co.uk.