NHS nurses walking down a corridor

NHS outline steps to become world’s first net zero health service

212 NHS Trusts, more than 1,000 hospitals and healthcare facilities and saving more than one million tonnes of carbon over three years. For the first time in history, every NHS Trust in England has a green plan in place.

With the country marking clean air day, 212 trusts in the NHS have announced their green plans as part of a huge push to reduce carbon emissions in healthcare. The NHS accounts for around 40% of public sector emissions and around 3.5% of all road transport, so the introduction of the first fully electric HGV in the NHS is showing that vital medical supplies can be transported in a way that is not only beneficial to the health service, but also the environment.

In May the world’s first net zero operation was performed by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, by using energy efficient options and injecting anaesthetic straight into the patient’s veins rather than using harmful gases.

These are just two examples of what the NHS, and on a wider scale, the public sector is trying to do in order to reduce carbon emissions and help the government on their mission to net zero.

Chief Sustainability Officer for the NHS, Dr Nick Watts, wrote in a blog for the NHS:

“I was fortunate enough to visit Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Hospital recently, to meet some of the staff behind their ambitious green plan… We already know that nine in ten staff support a net zero NHS, because they understand the impact it will have on improving health, now and for future generation, and because greener care simply equals high quality care.

With the announcement of 212 NHS green plans today, there is no doubt that the NHS has signed sealed and is on the way to delivering the world’s first net zero health service.”

The UK Government has placed huge emphasis on the battle to achieve net zero, and funding the NHS is no different. A £329 million injection of funding from the government to help improve hospital energy efficiency and get them going with decarbonisation s expected to help achieve savings of around £463 million over the course of the next five years


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