Implementing Sustainable Quality Improvement (SusQI) improve healthcare in more holistic way
Businesses demonstrating their care for the environment tend to find it easier to recruit and retain staff
Healthcare cannot afford to waste time and money. Becoming more sustainable addresses both issues
The Lancet called climate change “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”.
If your business is health, there is a moral duty to act on health threats and manage long-term risk to the health service.
A 2018 report showed the NHS was responsible for 5% of road traffic in England.
44,000 people die annually from the effects of air pollution in the UK assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/770715/clean-air-strategy-2019.pdf
The Kings Fund calculate 17% of NHS carbon emissions are linked to staff and patient travel. www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/time-think-differently/trends-sustainable-services
How many staff and patients walk or cycle? Is the infrastructure in place to encourage this?
A travel audit to measure travel to and from primary healthcare can be a first step to understanding.
Healthcare can reduce the burden of disease through educating patients and public about the health benefits
of a locally sourced, seasonal diet.
Aim for a diet high in fruit and vegetables with less red meat and (ideally zero) processed foods.
Reducing your practice on-costs by reducing energy consumption, reducing waste generation and recycling what is wasted more effectively and making business processes more efficient and leaner.
The practice can use its buying power responsibly and change to a 100% carbon free tariff. Energy security issues are likely to become increasingly important for health care providers
The largest part of the NHS carbon footprint is from the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. The carbon footprint of one MDI inhaler contributes the equivalent of 29 kg of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. There are 73 million prescriptions for inhalers in the UK annually.
A large percentage of community prescribed medicines end up in land fill - this can be addressed through reviewing non pharmaceutical therapies and interventions and social prescribing
Improve resilience for patients and services who are vulnerable to changing weather patterns and seasons. The UK is expected to have drier summers and more droughts and wetter winters with more flooding.
Organisations will need to assess the potential local impacts, and take measures to ensure that facilities, supply chains, infrastructure and workforce are resilient to environmental change.
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