Working towards a greener health and care system in BSW

The BSW Partnership has agreed to increase its focus on environmental and sustainability issues and to ensure the green agenda is high on its list of priorities as the NHS works towards its stated goal of becoming the world’s first health service to become carbon neutral by 2040.

Dr Nick Watts, NHS England NHS Improvement Chief Sustainability Officer recently attended a meeting of the BSW Partnership Board and set out the rationale for an urgent NHS response to climate change and the importance of setting out a level of ambition to address climate change in BSW.

BSW Partnership’s commitment comes at a time when the Glasgow COP26 climate change conference has highlighted the worldwide climate crisis and the need for international cooperation to address the global threat.

It also follows the launch of a nationwide NHS drive to make health services more sustainable.

Nationally, great progress has already been made and, since 2010, the NHS has reduced its emissions by 30 per cent.

Speaking at the BSW partnership Board meeting Dr Watt said the NHS had lots to do in order to work towards a greener future.

“We are the largest employer in the world and we are responsible for 5 per cent of the country’s emissions and 36 per cent of all public sector emissions. That figure is equivalent to the entire country of Denmark.

That figure alone is enough to illustrate the need to respond. We can’t deliver high quality care for all unless we respond to climate change.”

Tracey Cox, Chief Executive of the BSW Partnership said it was crucial that the organisation addressed the challenges posed by climate change.

“As a health and care system, the BSW Partnership needs to be ambitious in terms of a response to the critical threat to our planet and the health of our local population caused by climate change and we will be working together across all BSW partner organisations to articulate a shared vision.”