The NHS aims to provide health and high quality care for all, now and for future generations. This requires a resilient NHS, currently responding to the health emergency that COVID-19 brings, protecting patients, our staff and the public. The NHS also needs to respond to the health emergency that climate change brings, which will need to be embedded into everything we do now and in the future.
Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service sets out the considerable advances that the NHS has already made in improving our carbon footprint and reducing the environmental impact of our services. But as the largest employer in Britain, responsible for around 4% of the nation's carbon emissions, if this country is to succeed in its overarching climate goals the NHS has to be a major part of the solution. It is for this reason that we are committing to tackle climate change by reducing our emissions to ‘net zero’. In doing so, our aim is to be the world’s first 'net zero' national health service.
Greener Salford CCG
Salford CCG’s commitment to ‘Net Zero Carbon’ by 2038
Salford CCG is proud to announce that it has joined with other organisations in Greater Manchester in committing to work towards being carbon neutral by 2038.
This is a major step and will involve far-reaching changes for all of us, but one which must be done as we play our part in the NHS and government’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
The science is very clear that, without fast and far reaching reductions in CO2 emissions, our planet will suffer catastrophic effects of severe climate change. The science is also clear that if we all act now we can reduce the severity of this looming crisis.
Salford CCG is a gold accredited carbon literate organisation
This means we are committed to supporting a low carbon culture. You can read our news article about this achievement here.
Other CCG actions
Salford CCG has employed its first Sustainability Manager in 2020. Work is underway to:
- Identify the carbon footprint of the CCG's own internal activities and how to reduce it
- To work with colleagues across Salford to identify ways to collaborate on reducing Salford’s carbon footprint
- To support commissioned services to reduce their carbon footprint and to imbed this in the commissioning of these services going forward
Greener primary care in Salford
Primary care carbon footprinting
In order to understand the carbon footprint of practices in Salford, Salford CCG funded the carbon footprinting of eight practices in Salford of various sizes. The report has highlighted a number of key areas that practices and the CCG can work on.
Greener inhaler prescribing
The carbon footprinting project in Salford showed that 12% of the carbon footprint of primary care is due to the prescribing of inhalers, particularly pressurised meter dose inhalers (pMDI). 95% of the carbon footprint of these inhalers is due to the propellant gases used in them. The NHS Long Term Plan has set an ambitious target to reduce absolute inhaler emissions by at least 50% by 2028. In Salford we would like to see if we can achieve that target by 2025.
Salford CCG Medicines Management Group has developed a number of resources for GP practices to support this work. Practices will share the decision making with patients, working to optimise their care while at the same time caring for the planet. The focus will be on:
- Using dry powder inhalers where ever clinically appropriate as they have a much lower carbon impact
- Optimising the patients care and ensuring they are using the inhalers properly
- Ensuring proper disposal of pMDI inhalers by returning them to the chemist (in order to ensure that any remaining propellant gases are recycled or destroyed)
More information can be found at www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-encourages-use-of-greener-asthma-inhalers or https://greeninhaler.org/
Further work is being done to understand energy use in practices across Salford and also to develop a Carbon Literacy Project for Primary Care