New plan on sustainable health sets out the steps that NHS managers must follow to cut carbon emissions.
NHS Managers in the UK will be handed a number of measures they need to take to meet the government's carbon reduction targets, which involves cuttings its carbon emissions by 10% by 2015. This is part of the new “Vision for Sustainable Health: A Route map” to be set out today. Currently, the NHS produces nearly as much carbon dioxide annually as Croatia.
Under the new plans on sustainable health, the NHS will have to change its focus from curing sickness to becoming a 'preventative and tailor-made wellbeing service', taking into account the environmental costs of decisions, as well as their financial implications. Staff training programmes are encouraging medical staff to recycle correctly and helping several trusts to save money.
A number of primary care trusts and treatment centres have already begun taking unusual steps to cut their carbon emissions in ways that will also result in better outcomes for patients. At one GP practice in London, older patients with leg ulcers are sent to flower arranging classes - improving their mobility and helping them heal faster, saving on carbon emissions for travel to hospitals. Staff training programmes are also encouraging NHS staff to recycle correctly, which is helping several trusts to save money. They are wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds paying for expensive clinical waste disposal for bins stuffed with normal rubbish.