David Cameron calls for support on NHS Sustainability Day

Published on Thursday, 21 February 2013 09:23
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Prime Minister, David Cameron has given his influential support for the forthcoming NHS Sustainability Day.

All NHS organisations and stakeholders are being asked to sign up to a 'day of action' on sustainability. The day, taking place on the 28th March, is the brainchild of Trevor Payne, Director of Estates and Facilities, Barts Health NHS Trust and is being hosted by Barts Health NHS Trust with support from media partner Govtoday. The day follows on from last year's first day of action which saw over 140 Trusts and healthcare organisations participate in a varied set of events and initiatives up and down the country with further engagement online.

Preparing for the event Trevor Payne explains;

"Ensuring that sustainability is fully integrated into all aspects of delivering healthcare within the NHS is paramount to the future provision of healthcare in England. NHS Sustainability day allows individuals and organisations working for and with the NHS the opportunity to take action to make positive changes to behaviours which can minimise their impact on the environment and deliver more efficient and effective healthcare. Everyone can be involved and no action is too small. Together we can make a significant difference to our future and to the NHS."

Speaking about the importance of sustainability in the NHS, Prime Minister David Cameron said;

"The NHS Sustainability Day is a very important initiative that aligns with this Government's ambitions for a low-carbon and eco-friendly economy. I am encouraged by the scale of reduction in carbon the NHS is contributing towards the UK's target and the acknowledgement that there is more to do"

In 2010, the NHS Carbon Footprint was calculated at 21 million tonnes per year. This staggering amount makes the NHS one of the biggest emitters of carbon in Europe. The 'Sustainability Health Check 2012' undertaken by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) report showed how sustainability is viewed by leaders in the health service, and demonstrated the public's desire for a more sustainable healthcare system. The aim of the report was to help NHS organisations and their leaders save money by being more sustainable, particularly with the support of the public.

As well as high profile support for the initiative from the Prime Minister, the day has endorsement from the CEO of the NHS and from a media perspective Stephen Fry has given his support for the day, saying:

"The NHS is one of the greatest institutions in the world-helping 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. Support the NHS and participate in NHS Sustainability day on the 28th March. It's a fabulous opportunity to make a difference and make healthcare more sustainable."

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