UKHACC Bulletin April 2023
Earth Day 2023 will be celebrated tomorrow, Saturday 22 April. Since the first Earth Day, 53 years ago in 1970, millions of people have been inspired and motivated to get involved in actions and movements, to hold governments and sectors to account for their role in the climate crisis, and to call for bold, creative and innovative solutions. More recently, the voice of the health sector in influencing change for the benefit of human and planetary health has been growing louder. When our voices and actions are united with millions of others, we can create a powerful and impactful message and drive the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to a just, sustainable, healthy future.
News and updates
UKHACC becomes an independent charity
The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change has become an independent charitable incorporated organisation. Fiona Godlee and Robin Stott were visionary in creating the alliance more than ten years ago with the valuable support of the BMA and the BMJ. The BMJ has continued to host UKHACC since its founding, and we are extremely grateful for all of the support the organisation and its people have provided over the years. UKHACC has grown considerably over the last number of years and we hope to continue growing over the years to come as an independent organisation.
Let’s Not Waste pledge
On Wednesday, the Bevan Commission launched a national call to action to reduce waste across health and care in Wales. The ‘Let’s Not Waste’ pledge is open to anyone interested in playing an active role in the health and care sector in Wales. The initiative aims to galvanise the collective energy, expertise, and enthusiasm of professionals and the public to address the environmental, economic, and social aspects of waste in health and care, builds on research undertaken by the Bevan Commission, and brings together a commitment and collaboration to reduce waste across the system. It will be of interest to all nations of the UK.
Planetary Health Report Card
Look out for the 2023 Planetary Health Report Card (PHRC) results, which will be released tomorrow on Earth Day. The PHRC is a student-driven initiative seeking to inspire and support planetary health and sustainable healthcare engagement among health professional schools through a metric-based needs assessment tool. This year more schools than ever have taken part – 96 medical, 5 nursing, 1 physiotherapy and 3 pharmacy schools across 11 countries. 25 medical schools in the UK have participated. Please see the PHRC website – www.phreportcard.org – for further details and the results, which will also be shared via twitter – @phreportcard. If you are associated with any health professional schools and would like to get involved then do email email@example.com or, if nursing or pharmacy specific, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com respectively.
Greener AHP Week | 17-24 April 2023
Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) are the third largest clinical workforce in the NHS, and play an important role in delivering a net zero health service. The first Greener AHP week has been taking place this week with a series of events and opportunities to share examples of actions that AHPs are taking to make our health and care systems greener. The focus today, Friday 21 April, will be on reducing the environmental impact of equipment, medicine and resources. On Monday 24 April the focus shifts to food and nutrition. Get involved on social media using the hashtag #GreenerAHPWeek2023 or visit the Greener AHP hub NHS England to find out more.
Ride For Their Lives Campaign to support ULEZ expansion in London
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London has improved the air quality and prevented 1 million hospital admissions. Ride for their Lives is organising a 3-day cycle from 13-15 May to demonstrate the support of healthcare providers for the structural changes required to protect our patients from ambient air pollution. Find information on how to join some or part of the ride, or to show your support on their newly launched website.
Greener Nursing Practice Awards
The Royal College of Nursing Greener Nursing Practice Award is open for entries. The award is open to all nurses, students and nursing support workers in any speciality who are working to improve the environmental impact of healthcare. Find out more here.
Have your say
Climate and Ecology Bill
Health and social care professionals, and medical and health organisations, are invited to sign and support an open letter to the Health Secretary calling on him to lock climate science into law and support the Climate and Ecology Bill. There will be a hand-in of the letter to the Department of Health and Social Care with supporters of the letter in attendance on Thursday 27 April at 9.00-9.30am followed by a drop-in event for Parliamentarians and representatives from some of the supporting organisations to discuss the letter and its implications.
Call for Evidence – Net Zero Mental Health Care
The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) and Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) are working in collaboration with NHS England and Greener NHS to support their drive to become more sustainable. They are looking for examples of interventions or approaches across mental healthcare pathways that have led to more sustainable and carbon-neutral practices. The deadline to apply has been extended to 24 April 2023 by 12pm. More information on the project and submission guidelines can be found here.
HCPC consultation on standards of conduct, performance and ethics
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which regulates 13 of the 14 allied health professional groups, has opened a formal consultation on Reviewing the standards of conduct, performance and ethics | (hcpc-uk.org) An additional theme of sustainability in health and care has been proposed and will be discussed as part of the consultation process. HCPC is running a workshop on 22 May on sustainability. Further information about the workshop on sustainability, including registration is available here. The consultation closes on Friday 16 June.
IN CONVERSATION LUNCHTIME SESSIONS
A number of sessions are open for registration in our popular lunchtime sessions. These events are held online from 12.00-13.30 on the dates indicated below. Sessions involve presentations by leading experts followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.
Let’s Active Travel: Benefits to Health and Planetary Health | 27 April 2023
Active travel is good for mental, physical and planetary health. The transition from environments dominated by motorised vehicles that are often not safe for walking and cycling, to urban landscapes that enable people to walk and cycle, can also bring socioeconomic advantages such as reducing inequalities and empowering women, the elderly, and children. Join the discussion with our expert panel – Chris Billington (London Association of Directors of Public Health), Dr Adrian Davis (UWE Bristol), and Dr Andy Cope (Sustrans). Register here.
Clean Air: At all times | 17 May 2023
Air pollution causes harm at all stages of life as reported in a recent study published by Imperial College researchers. The adverse effects range from poor foetal development to chronic illnesses, cancer and stroke. In 2019, 29,000 to 43,000 deaths were attributable to air pollution (PM2.5 and NO2) in the UK, with an estimated cost of £18.6 billion to the country. Clean air needs to be a basic human right. Join this session to find out more about wood burning and indoor air pollution by Lucy Anderson (Global Action Plan), what hospitals can do to improve air quality by Catherine Kenyon (Global Action Plan) and why ULEZ works by TBC. Register here.
Net Zero Clinical Care Conference | 14 July 2023 | BMA House, London | Free
Join us on 14 July for our new conference, Net Zero Clinical Care, jointly organised by BMJ and the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change. The conference will provide insights for health and care professionals on how they can help the NHS achieve its net zero target by 2040 whilst also improving the quality of patient care. The conference will enable action, build awareness and create a community.
Individuals wishing to showcase their work at the event are invited to submit their e-poster by 12 May. Submission is open to clinicians and non-clinical staff, including those from service providers. Submissions should focus on reducing the carbon impact of healthcare services while improving patient care.
Further details about e-poster submission and registration are available on the conference website: https://netzeroclinicalcare.bmj.com/
24 April 2023 | Online
Air pollution & Climate Change: two sides of the same coin
The Faculty of Public Health is organising a webinar to discuss the co-benefits of interventions addressing air pollution & climate change from a public health perspective. Expert speakers include Professor Chris Whitty and Professor Kevin Fenton and many more. Further information is available here.
11-12 May 2023 | Hybrid
Transforming food systems for human, animal and planetary health
The Extinction or Regeneration conference will explore the immediate need for more sustainable food production methods that can feed future generations while protecting humans, animals, and the planet. Registration information is available here.
18 May 2023 | 9.00 – 17.00 (Hybrid – UCL)
The Hot Brain – Climate Change and NeuroscienceThis one-day hybrid conference by UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology aims to raise awareness, discuss and promote action around the impacts of climate change across the spectrum of neuroscience, from basic biology to adaptation, with presentations from a wide range of experts. More information can be found here.
Climate Change Digital Archive
Launched by the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh (RCPE) this digital archive aims to document the experiences of healthcare professionals on climate change and its impact on health. The climate change digital archive will be useful to learn and develop planetary health solutions now as well as for future understanding and research. More information can be found here.
Fact sheet on plant based diets and chronic kidney disease
The Plant-Based Health Professionals and Association of UK Dieticians have published the first of three fact sheets on plant based diets and chronic kidney disease. This evidence-based review provides further information and a link to the fact sheet.
Reports, articles and videos
We’ve pulled together a list of recent reports, articles and videos worth reading, watching and sharing.
- In this opinion piece by Dr Richard Smith, the chair of UKHACC has written about why doctors need to speak up in support of cleaner air in London and other cities.
- This article published in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine identifies the carbon footprint of products used in five common surgical operations.
- This BBC article reports on research by Imperial College London which found air pollution causes harm to people at all stages of life.
- Also on air pollution, new research published by the European Society of Cardiology reports elevated risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes.
- This blog article published by RCP explains why embracing digital healthcare is key to reducing the NHS carbon footprint
- The blog article by Dr Marcia Philbin outlines how the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine is championing environmentally-focussed practices
- This short video illustration shows a street transformation from one with parked cars to one with cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, and nature
- New York City has published its first Greenhouse Gas Inventory which shows all of the city’s direct and indirect GHG emissions from energy, transportation, and waste. On releasing the inventory, NYC Mayor announced a commitment to reduce emissions from food by 33% by 2030.
- We were delighted to welcome Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England, to speak at our recent Council meeting. A video recording of his talk can be viewed here (apologies for the connection loss during the talk – he does come back!).
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested. Anyone can sign up to receive this newsletter by clicking this link: https://action.ukhealthalliance.org/page/69209/subscribe/1
If you’ve got information about resources, campaigns, or events you would like to be included in the next edition, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The next bulletin will be published on 19 May 2023.