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Our commitment to sustainable healthcare

A healthier planet means healthier people!

As a region we are focused on preventing ill-health and improving the overall health of communities with NHS organisations, and our partners, working together to deliver our ambition to be the greenest region in England by 2030.

Being sustainable is not just good for the environment, it’s also an important driver of health.

The climate crisis is one of the biggest health challenges we face and failing to reduce our impact on the planet will have serious implications for both the physical and mental health of our communities.

As one of the largest organisations in the world, the NHS has a crucial part to play.

Through our size and scale we can make a positive contribution to the health of our communities by reducing our environmental impact.

We are already taking-action to reduce our environmental footprint from how we are reducing waste, supporting active travel, using electric vehicles, re-thinking our supply chain and switching to more sustainable products, with all NHS Trusts now having their own Green Plans in place.

Find out more about the fantastic work being done across our region to improve patient care and community wellbeing whilst tacking climate change and sustainability issues.

Our ambition to become England's greenest region by 2030

As a health and care system we are committed to developing a consistent approach with our partners in the public and voluntary sectors to sustainability, recycling, improving air quality and carbon reduction, as well as increasing access to green spaces. We have joined a cross-sector coalition working to enable our region to become England’s greenest region by 2030.

Faculty of Sustainable Healthcare

The North East is the first region in the country to have a faculty dedicated to environmental sustainability in healthcare. The Faculty of Sustainable Healthcare, which is run by Health Education England North East (HEE NE), aims to increase awareness of sustainability and embedding good practice across the local area, helping organisations achieve climate impact reduction targets.

The faculty is now hosting workshops to provide overviews of sustainability in healthcare, supported by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, while next steps will include training its own faculty staff, hosting annual events for trainees to present work and expanding into other specialisms, such as dentistry and psychiatry.

Consultant anesthetist and clinical lead for sustainability at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Elaine Winkley, said: “As a trainee, I worked in hospitals across the North East and issues around sustainability reared their head on many occasions, but there was no training on it and there were seldom people who could explain why certain things were done in certain ways. Establishing a faculty to tackle these issues means that they will be embedded in learning for those starting out on their careers in healthcare and therefore should become a natural part of their working lives. As the first region in the country to set up a faculty like this, it’s great to be showing this sort of leadership and innovation.”

Decarbonisation in General Practices

UK GP surgeries are responsible for 5.75 million tonnes of Co2, equivalent to 23% of the total footprint of the NHS.

A GP network has been established in our region to support general practices to develop decarbonisation plans, helping to reduce their environmental impact.

Find out more here

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