Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership to contribute to NHS green savings equivalent to half a million fewer cars on the road
As the UK marks Clean Air Day (16th June) the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership (BLMK HCP) Green Plan is set to play its part in helping the NHS cut more than 1m tonnes of C02 emissions in the next three years – the equivalent of taking 520,000 cars off the road.
One of more than 200 new Green Plans put forward by NHS trusts across England, the plan by BLMK HCP sets out how it will reduce its environmental impact and help the NHS reach net zero by 2035.
Felicity Cox, Chief Executive Designate for Bedfordshire, Luton, and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board said:
“With air pollution alone contributing to 1 in 20 deaths in this country a year, it is clear we are facing a health emergency as well as a climate emergency.
“Our BLMK Green Plan is a testament to our staff’s commitment to tackling climate change, and we are proud to set out the positive actions we will take to reduce our impact on the environment and safeguard the future health of our children and grandchildren.”
The Green Plans lay out how the NHS, which contributes approximately 3.5% (9.5 billion miles) of all road travel in England, will make this travel greener. Smarter buildings, LED lighting and energy saving measures are also reducing emissions and saving NHS organisations money, while using intravenous anesthetic instead of gas and helping patients use inhalers more efficiently are improving patient care.
Initiatives at BLMK HCP include practical steps such as greening the area around the hospital sites, reducing the distance people travel to appointments, increasing the use of online services for patients and green social prescribing, which encourages people to take up nature-based activities to improve their health and protect the environment.
Dr Nick Watts, Chief Sustainability Officer at NHS England said:
“The NHS was the first health system in the world to commit to net zero and the outstanding innovation and commitment from Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Partnership is a vital step towards achieving that aim.
“Doing our bit on climate change will directly improve public health and reduce health inequalities, cutting deaths caused by air pollution and ensuring a healthier future for our children.”