A Green space for a Greener NHS
In its Net Zero Strategy, published in October 2020, the NHS set out a vision to become the world’s first net zero carbon health service and respond to climate change, improving health now and for future generations. Every part of the NHS will need to act both in the short and long term to meet this ambition. The purpose of the Midlands Greener NHS Futures workspace is to provide a platform to support system collaboration and the sharing of best practice across the Midlands Region.
LLR ICS Green Plan
Watch our video below to find out more about the LLR ICS Green Plan.
The LLR ICS (Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care System) Green Plan covers a three-year period (July 2022 – July 2025) in line with the National Health Service (NHS) requirement to create a plan aligned to the goal of ‘Delivering a Net Zero National Health Service’.
The Green Plan sets out a collective vision and the actions that the ICS will take, to support national and regional NHS targets for carbon reduction; prioritising interventions which simultaneously improve patient care and community wellbeing while tackling climate change and broader sustainability issues across LLR. The Plan also sets out collaborative efforts by ICS members and LLR partners to achieve desired outcomes in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
The Plan addresses wider sustainability priorities including carbon emissions, waste, elimination of single use plastic, travel and air pollution, site greening for patient and staff wellbeing, sustainable models of care across the region and collective efforts to reduce the impacts of medical processes (particularly anaesthetics) and the use of sustainable medicines, and sustainable procurement. It is built upon the foundations of the existing UHL (University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust) and LPT (Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust) Green Plans.
The Green Plan follows a national NHS framework based on the following areas alongside a summary of key actions the system will take over the next three years:
- Workforce and system leadership
- Sustainable models of care
- Digital transformation
- Sustainable Travel and transport
- Estates and facilities sustainability
- Supply chain and procurement
- Food and nutrition
- Adaptation to Climate Change.
How we are going green
Click to watch a selection of short videos on how the NHS is going green in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Dr Anna Murphy on green inhalers
Dr Gurnak Dosanjh on virtual wards
Reducing health inequalities
The establishment of Integrated Care Systems (ICS) from July 2022 puts health inequalities and improving the health of the population at the centre of the partnership working across the ICS. This is about how we provide our services to ensure that the most vulnerable and disadvantaged receive the care they deserve.
The ICS is intended to help the NHS support broader social and economic development. The ICS Green Plan builds on plans from individual partners and places particular emphasis on the collaborative actions required to deliver desired outcomes and leveraging collective efforts to achieve benefits for the community. The opportunities are diverse and include the following examples:
- By reducing air pollution we can reduce respiratory disease;
- By improving patient pathways we can impact positively on mental health;
- By encouraging healthier eating we can improve overall health in the community; and
- By working with local suppliers and enabling and encouraging green travel we can improve environmental impacts and help reduce carbon emissions across LLR.
Greener General Practices
Like all parts of the NHS, General Practice has a role to play to help the NHS achieve its vision of becoming the first health system in the world to deliver a net zero health service and respond to climate change, improving health now and for future generations.
Primary care is estimated to contribute to 25% of the carbon footprint of the NHS. With 90% of patient contacts taking place in primary care, it has the potential to have a far wider influence on the attitudes of patients with regards to sustainability, and to contribute decisively to net zero targets. Research has shown that GPs have a powerful influence on patient behaviours, with impact on the care patients between primary and secondary care.
There are 134 GP practices in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) serving a population of 1.2 million collectively. Our goal is to raise awareness of the NHS’s Net Zero target, and the reasons behind it and drive action in GP practices across LLR to LLR ICS Green Plan.