UKHACC Bulletin June 2023
Many in the UK have been experiencing high temperatures and heatwave conditions over the last weeks, which has also seen huge wildfires burning for days in the Scottish highlands, which are now thankfully under control. The World Meteorological Organisation has warned there is a 98% chance that one of the next five years will be the warmest year on record, and a 66% chance that global average temperature will temporarily exceed 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. High temperatures significantly impact health, particularly more vulnerable people, older people and pregnant women. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Met Office have launched a new Heat-Health Alerting system that focuses on the health impacts that high temperatures could have on the health of the population (please note: data for England only). The alert system follows the publication of the Adverse Weather and Health Plan last month. UKHSA have also produced a comms toolkit with a series of infographics that highlight the direct and indirect effects of hot weather on health (graphics link to flood and cold weather are also included).
News and updates
200+ health workers write to PM on air pollution
On Clean Air Day yesterday, more than 200 health professionals called on the Prime Minister to take action on air pollution. The letter pointed to the evidence that interventions such as low emission zones work to clean the air and reduces hospitalisations and asked the PM to set an example by taking action. It follows a letter from Professor Frank Kelly and 35 air-pollution scientists sent to the PM last week.
Scottish consultation on Human Rights Bill proposal on right to a healthy environment
The Scottish Government has opened a consultation on the Human Rights Bill for Scotland. The consultation includes a proposal to include the right to a healthy environment in the Bill. In a recent letter to the First Minister of Scotland, we called for the right to clean air to be included in the Bill. The proposal to include the right to a healthy environment is welcome. The deadline for responses to the consultation is Thursday 5 October.
HCPC urged to add standard on sustainability to Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics
The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change has called on the Health and Care Professions Council to incorporate a new standard on sustainability in health and care to the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics. Read our response here.
Have your say
BMJ Leader – Greener Leader Blog Series
BMJ Leader is seeking blog submissions on experiences of leading through the climate crisis and leading sustainably in health care. They welcome blogs from all professional groups – clinicians, managers, researchers and educators. Guidance on blog submissions are available here: Authors | BMJ Leader Previous published blogs are available here for inspiration: The official blog of BMJ Leader – Blog site for BMJ Leader
Call for evidence on six major conditions
The UK government has opened a call for evidence to inform the development of the major conditions strategy to improve the health of people in England and ease the pressure on the health system. Views are being sought on how to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage the six major conditions: cancers, cardiovascular diseases (including stroke and diabetes), chronic respiratory diseases, dementia, mental ill health, and musculoskeletal disorders. The deadline for responses is 27 June.
Environmental sustainability for pre-registration AHP programmes – STUDENT SURVEY (UK)
A group of academics, students, clinicians, AHP Professional bodies and experts in environmental sustainability are conducting a survey to understand the current attitudes, views and experiences of pre-registration allied healthcare professional students towards environmental sustainability. The data will be analysed anonymously, and will be used to help shape a curricula guidance document for AHP professional bodies and HEIs.
The WHO has announced plans to launch the development of a global research agenda to catalyse research that will inform the integration of climate and health action. The Research on Climate Change and Health – REACH 2035 – agenda aims to establish shared, forward-looking research priorities to meet the evidence needs of policy makers, program implementers, and advocates in protecting against and responding to the health impacts of climate change. REACH 2035 will firstly bring together policymakers, researchers, civil society organisations, UN agencies and research funders to participate in consultative co-workshops to develop research priorities. There will also be opportunity for public input and comment through consultation.
Climate and Health Campaign Programme Lead
Medact is currently recruiting for an experienced campaigner and organiser to lead their work advocating for a justice-centred approach to climate and health. The deadline for applications has been extended to Monday 10 July. Details here
Want to reduce waste in health and care?
The health and social care system in Wales is developing innovative ways to use all available resources more efficiently and to reduce waste. The Bevan Commission has established the Let’s Not Waste network to provide a focus and concerted effort to achieve demonstrable reduction in waste. The network will be a national platform to share ideas, good practice, and collaborate and developing waste reduction solutions. Individuals and organisations interested in getting involved can sign up here.
Courses and events
14 July 2023 | BMA House, London and Online [Hybrid event]
Net Zero Clinical Care Conference
With less than a month to go until the inaugural, free to attend Net Zero Clinical Care conference, we’re delighted to announce our keynote, Dr Nick Watts, Chief Sustainability Officer NHS England. Dr Watts will set the scene for a full day conference by outlining his vision of how the NHS will deliver a world-class net zero emission health service by 2045. He will share the steps that have already been taken, and the difference these changes have already made, and the next steps towards net zero. You can attend virtually, via a live feed, or add your name to the waiting list to attend in-person.
UKHACC 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.
Protecting our ocean for all our health
On World Ocean Day 2023, we brought together health professionals to highlight the importance of our oceans and nature for health. A recording and slides from the event can be accessed here.
Topics and speakers include:
- Recommendations for ocean and nature from COP15. Dr Georgina Sowman, Co-Founder Healthcare Ocean
- Eco-directed sustainable prescribing; reducing ocean pollution from pharmaceuticals. Dr Sharon Pfleger, Founder One Health Breakthrough Partnership
- Human healthcare and the ocean. Dr Richard Hixson, Co-Founder Healthcare Ocean
Open WHO: Environment, Climate Change and Health
The WHO is launching a new online course on environment, climate change and health for practitioners and policy-makers. It will provide an introduction to environmental health, covering key facts, figures and available interventions on the most important environmental risks including climate change, air pollution, water, sanitation and hygiene, chemicals and others. Further details can be found here.
Greening transport in your area
Low Traffic Future are running a series of workshops in Birmingham, Bristol, York, London and Manchester to provide information on how to get involved in activity to press for a low traffic future in your area, meet others with similar interests, and engage with your council. Find out more here.
21 June 2023 | Online
FPH Climate and Health Conference
The Faculty of Public Health is hosting the climate and health conference titled “Adapting to a warming world from the UK perspective”. The fantastic line up of speakers include Baroness Brown of Cambridge and Professor Lea Berrang Ford, Director of the Climate & Health Security Centre of the UKHSA. Click here for further information and registration link.
26 June 2023 | London
How should London cope with more summer heatwaves and wildfires?
This event organised by the Grantham Institute of Climate Change is part of London Climate Action week. London is experiencing more intense and frequent periods of extreme hot weather due to climate change. What must the capital do to make itself more resilient to extreme hot weather in the future? This expert panel will provide overviews on different aspects of these challenges, and will answer questions from the audience. Register here.
5-6 July 2023 | Newport, Wales
The Tipping Point Conference – Where next for health and care?
The Bevan Commission is hosting this conference to mark 75 years of the NHS with sessions over 2 days on themes such as – Developing Resilient and Resourceful People and Communities, Integrating Quality Health & Social Care fit for People, Creating Sustainable & Equally Well Approaches, and Transformation to be Fit & Flexible for the Future. The full agenda and registration details can be found here.
9-10 September 2023 | Imperial College, London
VegMed London 2023
VegMed London 2023 is a collaboration between Plant-Based Health Professionals UK and PAN International – Physicians Association for Nutrition, and supported by ProVeg International, with the overarching theme of ‘Bringing plant-based nutrition into healthcare’. The conference will bring together health professionals, scientists, researchers and policy makers committed to supporting the transition to a plant-based food system. Click here for more information and to book your tickets.
21-22 October 2023 | Hybrid – New York, USA
Climate and Health Conference 2023
The conference is being organised to bring attention to the importance of climate change from a human health standpoint and build connections within the health community prior to COP28. Further details can be found here.
The Academy of Medical Sciences – Environmentally sustainable biomedical research report
The Academy of Medical Sciences’ cross-sector events programme, FORUM, ran a workshop in March 2023 titled ‘enabling environmentally sustainable biomedical research’. They have published the workshop report and executive summary to enable greener medical research.
ICHD carbon calculator
The Sustainable Healthcare Coalition has launched a new resource designed to assist in-centre hemodialysis services (ICHDs) in assessing their carbon footprint and identifying where their reduction efforts can be focused. The ICHD Carbon Calculator was developed in association Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust.
Reports, articles and videos
We’ve pulled together a list of recent reports, articles and videos worth reading, watching and sharing.
- UKHACC Chair, Richard Smith recently presented to University Hospitals Sussex Green Clinical Steering Group recent meeting on Environmental Sustainability. The presentation on health professionals responding to the planetary crisis can be watched here
- This article in The Lancet documents the growing healthcare climate footprint (from 4.4% to 5.2% from 2014 to 2019), and captures the momentum built over the last two years for healthcare decarbonisation and resilience.
- The Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) recently held a sharing and learning event on data, carbon accounting and monitoring impact. The recording can be viewed here.
- How can an organisation get to carbon net zero? Patients Know Best has achieved net zero – how they got there is nicely explained here.
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 14 July 2023.