National Health Service to hold its first sustainability day

by Search Gate staff. Published Mon 26 Mar 2015 16:27
Event will promote a sustainable health service

NHS organisations across the country will be taking part in the first annual NHS Sustainability Day of Action on Wednesday, March 28.

More than a 100 organisations will join well known figures such as Sir David Nicholson, Health Minister Simon Burns and actor and presenter Stephen Fry to promote sustainable action in the NHS and across the health sector.

NHS Chief, Sir David Nicholson said: “Thinking about sustainability and acting in a sustainable way is essential to improving our quality and productivity. I would encourage individuals and organisations to do things differently to truly drive the service to be more sustainable.”

Hospitals across England will be engaging with staff and the public on sustainability by holding recycling events, planting trees, and holding energy and waste audits to get people to understand the mutual benefits of sustainability and health.

Actor and presenter Stephen Fry added: “The NHS is one of the greatest institutions in the world – helping to look after us while doing no harm. But its very size means it can harm the world it shares with us. So it needs to be more sustainable.”

NHS Sustainability Day is being led by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) and the University College London Hospitals (UCLH).

Dr David Pencheon, NHS SDU Director, said: “NHS Sustainability Day is a day of action and a rallying call to the NHS to embrace and consider all elements of delivering sustainable healthcare: care that improves health today but which doesn't jeopardise our ability to do it tomorrow.”

A sustainable health service is one where hospitals serve more locally sourced fresh food, where patients can receive their care closer to home and where buildings are less wasteful and more energy efficient.

According to organisers, a sustainable NHS will help save money which can be reinvested in frontline services.

Director of Facilities at UCLH Trevor Payne, added: “Being sustainable is good for patient health. For example using public transport or cycling keeps people more active, improves fitness, reduces levels of obesity and minimises the need for people to be treated for heart conditions and mental health problems.”

In a recent Ipsos Mori survey 92% of the public said they wanted the NHS to be more sustainable and the NHS Sustainability Day is one way where the public can see that the NHS is taking sustainability seriously. It is an opportunity for the public and staff to understand that a lower carbon NHS is not only healthier for them but also improves the health of the environment.

All 100 plus organisations taking part in the day will be doing something unique to promote sustainability.

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