Healthcare and sustainability

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Understand the facts

The Lancet called climate change “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”. If your business is health and there is a moral duty to act on health threats and manage long-term risk to the health service.

Move better, communicate better

New services and technology can improve access to services while reducing transport. 


A 2018 report showed the NHS was responsible for 5% of road traffic in England. Government figures estimate there are 753 deaths annually due to air pollution - that's 38 deaths the NHS is responsible for due to its transport alone.  


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 


The average journey time to a GP practice is 10 minutes (tiny.cc/ny1l9y). How many staff and patients walk or cycle? Is the infrastructure in place to encourage this?

Performing a travel audit to measure travel to and from primary care is a first step. 

Patient and staff education

Educate patients and the 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.

Patients and services are vulnerable to changing weather patterns and seasons including drier summers and 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. 

Buy and procure with care

Reducing your practice on-costs by reducing energy consumption, reducing waste generation and recycling what is wasted more effectively, making business processes more efficient and lean are aspects of excellence in business management.

Use the practice buying power responsibly

Energy security issues are likely to become increasingly important for health care providers 

Care when prescribing

The largest part of the NHS carbon footprint is from the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and a large percentage of community prescribed medicines end up in land fill.

Improved models of care

Reduce duplication and waste by simplifying and integrating systems and services

Make the default closer to home

Integrated services between primary and secondary care

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SEE Sustainability

SEE Sustainability, 21 Low Street, Leeming Bar, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL7 9BW

07503 163710