Humber, Coast and Vale Net Zero and Sustainability Programme Update

“The Humber, Coast and Vale ICS Sustainability and Net Zero Programme is one year on for its inception and great progress has been made to date.”

-Alexis Percival, Net Zero and Climate Change lead for Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership.

Image of green trees

Together with West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthcare Partnership, we hosted 13 fortnightly hour-long Climate Lunch and Learn events in the lead up to COP26. These addressed the challenges we face with Climate Change and the impact this will have on our healthcare system and population.

Broad-ranging discussions focused on areas such as climate change, meter dose inhalers, climate adaptation, health inequalities, food and diet, the impact on mental health, digital, waste and travel. These are available online.

We also set up monthly meetings with all of the Sustainability Leads across the HCV Partnership area to set a sustainability agenda for the region.  All the meetings are logged, and presentations are provided from regional representatives as well as updates on the Greener NHS programme.  All of our Sustainability leads have also provided fascinating summaries as to the work that they have been doing across the region to drive down carbon emissions.

Currently the ICS Green Plan is being drawn together with input from the regional leads to map a route to Net Zero Carbon Emissions.  A series of workshops were run covering:  biodiversity, climate adaptation, anaesthesia, active travel, waste reduction, pharmacy, medicine, and a Net Zero Board Lead group.

HCV Partnership has also recruited a leader in the green respiratory care environment, Dr Aarti Bansal, who is working with GPs across the region to create an understanding as to the barriers and the benefits of green respiratory care, such as: reducing and phasing out Metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) as they contain propellant gas that has a high global warming potential and introducing alternatives like Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs) which many patients can be transferred over to these, reducing carbon emissions.

Also, we are working to create a climate adaptation plan for the region, with PCAN cities joining the Net Zero HCV team to identify the impacts, historic and future health impacts from climate change across the area. Climate Change is likely to affect our region with the most impact as rising sea levels, flooding, high groundwater, tidal surges as well as droughts, heat waves and forest and moorland fires.

Finally, we are assessing GP Practices across the region in conjunction with a consultancy who are experts in carbon footprinting primary care, SEE Sustainability.  Through this we will be able to gauge the actual impact of the carbon footprint of the region’s primary care system, identifying key carbon hotspots.  This will help us to develop our Net Zero primary care strategy.

Future carbon reduction work will also include the first of its kind in the UK, the assessment of dental surgeries for carbon footprinting.

To find out more about the Net Zero agenda, please visit the Humber and North Yorkshire Net Zero and Sustainability webpages.