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14th June 2024

UKHACC Bulletin June 2024

Monthly edition of the UKHACC bulletin with the latest news, opportunities to get involved and have your say, events and reports

Last month in Geneva at the 77th World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization (WHO) member states adopted a resolution on Climate Change and Health. While it did not declare the climate and nature crisis as a global public health emergency, the newly adopted resolution identifies climate change as a major threat to public health. It sets out a framework to build climate-resilient, low-carbon and sustainable health systems. This is a significant step forward but the momentum needs to keep building. 

It is critical that governments demonstrate leadership in tackling the climate and ecological crisis. Ahead of the UK General Election, taking place on 4 July, we have called on candidates to prioritise actions to sustain our health, health and care services, and environment:

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News and updates

New ‘switching to green banks’ added to UKHACC Commitments

The UKHACC has added an eleventh commitment urging health organisations to move their finance accounts to green banks. Fossil fuel companies are driving a global health crisis by heating the earth and polluting the air, leading to disastrous impacts on health and lives. Health professionals are working hard to combat the health impacts of fossil fuel burning while UK banks continue to pour billions into the fossil fuel industry. More information on the commitment, including information for organisations and individuals on how to switch, can be found here.

Letter to political party candidates to prioritise health, health and care services, and the environment 

More than 30 health leaders from across the UK have written a letter, coordinated by the UKHACC, to candidates across all political parties expressing their deep concern about the impact the climate and ecological emergency has and will continue to have, on health and the health service. Read the full letter here.

Health leaders cycle to inspire action on air pollution and the climate crisis

Health professionals took part in a Ride for their Lives cycle as a part of the Great Big Green Week to inspire people to swap cars for bikes to help improve air quality while also enjoying the physical and mental health benefits of being active and connecting with nature. Read more here.

UKHACC calls for urgent global action to save lives in the face of rising temperatures due to climate change

The UKHACC and a range of other organisations from the health and science sector are calling for immediate, coordinated action to reduce the projected rise in deaths and health issues due to increasing temperatures. The Roadmap for Global Heat Resilience, a consensus statement launched on 12 June, coordinated by The Physiological Society, urges leaders across the world to adopt a human-centred approach to tackling the health threat of climate change by coordinating efforts across sectors to improve preparedness for heat, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. More information on the report can be found here.

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Have your say

Write to your political candidate to prioritise climate action 

This new toolkit produced by the UKHACC allows you to write to your local political candidate and ask them to prioritise the environment, health and health and care services based on our five key asks from the general election manifesto. Write to your local political candidate here. 

Sign the petition: Clean Air Day 

Air pollution can harm every organ in your body, causing heart and lung disease, dementia, and strokes. This Clean Air Day on 20 June 2024, use your voice to call on our next government to make walking, wheeling and cycling safer and ensure that everyone can access public transport that is reliable, affordable, and efficient. Sign the petition now and share it with your friends, family, and community to show our next government that people want action on air pollution.

Consultation: NHS England Constitution 10 year review

​​The Health Act 2009 requires that every 10 years the Secretary of State must carry out a review of the NHS England Constitution, which sets out the principles, values, rights and pledges underpinning the NHS as a comprehensive health service, free at the point of use for all who need it. It is open until 25 June 2024. The UKHACC response can be viewed here and more information on how to respond is available here.

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Opportunities/Get involved

Job alert: Greener by Default

Greener by Default is looking to hire a new UK-based registered dietician who can work directly with healthcare organisations and food service management companies to implement programs such as plant-based-by-default. Applications close on 19 June 2024. More details are available here.

Job alert: Member and Youth Coordinator for the Global Climate and Health Alliance

The GCHA seeks a dynamic and outgoing individual to coordinate member onboarding and relationship-building, coordinate and support GCHA’s Youth Climate and Health Network, and be a warm, welcoming, and energetic touchpoint for GCHA members of all kinds as they join and engage with the Alliance. More information can be accessed here.

Join the ‘Restore Nature Now’ march

The Restore Nature Now march is supported by a diverse group of dozens of wildlife and environment organisations (including the UKHACC, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, The Climate Coalition, Wildlife and Countryside Link and others). There is a “Restore Nature for Health bloc” within the bigger march which many health organisations support. This march will start at 12 PM on 22 June 2024 from Park Lane, London (W1K) and culminate at the parliamentary square to call on the UK government to restore nature now. More information and registration details are found here.

Calling Applicants from Wales for the Bevan Exemplar Programme

The Bevan Exemplar Programme supports health and care professionals to translate great ideas for health and care into practice. This 12-month programme provides training and mentorship to inform thinking and develop skills to transform health and care services from within, having positive impacts on patient care, lived experiences, health outcomes and on service efficiency. This year’s Bevan Exemplar Programme is titled Achieving Change Together and challenges applicants to develop innovative solutions to overcome issues currently facing the delivery of health and care services in Wales. The application deadline is 14th July 2024. More information can be accessed here. 

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Events 

Now – 23 October | Online

WHO Climate Change and Health Technical Webinar Series 2024

The WHO is conducting a series of technical webinars on various climate change and health topics with the aim of building capacity for implementation at the country level. These webinars will integrate training, experience sharing, interactive activities and group discussion. Details on the webinar topics and registration can be found here.

17-23 June | UK

Better Transport Week

Better Transport Week is an annual, week-long celebration of the sustainable transport that makes our lives better. Public transport, shared travel, cycling, walking and wheeling can give us a brighter transport future – one that is greener, fairer, healthier, that helps provide cleaner air and a planet fit for the next generation. There are events, special offers and competitions throughout the week, more details are available here.

18/19 June | Hybrid – London 

Food Security from a Planetary Health Perspective

The Global Politics and Development Centre and the Living Sustainably Catalyst are organising a workshop on “Food security from a planetary health perspective”. This workshop aims to explore the intersection of food security and planetary health, focusing on the complex relationship between human health and the health of our planet. More information can be found here.

22-30 June | London

London Climate Action Week

The London Climate Action Week (LCAW) is an annual event bringing together world-leading climate experts to help solve the climate emergency. LCAW is looking to form partnerships with aligned organisations for support. Further details can be found here.

24 June | Hybrid – Oxford

Oxford Global Health Society Conference 2024 

The conference aims to bring together staff and students at the University of Oxford, along with experts and practitioners across the United Kingdom to engage in meaningful discussions, share insights, and explore innovative solutions on the theme of “Climate Change and Health: Building Health System Resilience for the Impacts of Climate Change”. Register here.

25 June | Online

SHARE Conference 2024 – Sustainable Healthcare Academic Research and Enterprise

SHARE is a free online conference co-hosted by the University of Brighton School of Sport and Health Sciences, Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. This year’s theme is ‘Fast-tracking resilient and environmentally sustainable health systems’. More information is available here. 

3 July | Hybrid – London

From Fuel Poverty to the Just Transition: How Health Workers Can Join the Fight to Win

This event is aimed at health workers and anyone interested in learning more about the intersections of fuel poverty, climate crisis, and health justice. This is primarily a political education event to deepen learning on the issues of cold & damp homes/fuel poverty and take inspiration on the different forms of actions we can take. Sign up here. 

3-5 July | Bristol, UK

Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) Summer Conference

The SAPC summer conference on ‘Sustainable Primary Care: Healthy Systems, Healthy People’ is open for registration. More information and options to buy tickets can be found here.

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New resources

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges: Sustainability Resources

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AOMRC) have collated a suite of resources to signpost sustainability training to healthcare professionals, in particular doctors in training. The list can be accessed here. 

WHO Report: Commercial Determinants of Noncommunicable Diseases in the WHO European Region

This latest report published by the WHO holds four big industries responsible for 7400 preventable deaths per day in the WHO European region: Fossil fuels, Unhealthy diets (Processed food high in fats, sugars and salt), Tobacco, and Alcohol. Read the full report here.

Faculty of Public Health: A Vision for the Public’s Health

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) believes that bold action led by the UK government, the devolved administrations, the NHS and local government to invest in good public health would make a profound and rapid difference to our society. Looking at the challenges of the coming decades, FPH has identified four priorities to advance public health, reduce inequalities and boost economic productivity. Read more here.

Royal College of Physicians: Manifesto for medicine – a healthier nation with access to excellent care

Ahead of the 2024 general election, RCP’s ‘Manifesto for medicine – a healthier nation with access to excellent care’ calls on all political parties to commit to investing in five priority areas. It calls on the next government to commit to a range of policies to support doctors to deliver high-quality healthcare, prioritising staff retention and creating more postgraduate training posts, ensuring well-functioning, interoperable IT systems, NHS equipment, facilities, estates and digital infrastructure with an ambitious multi-year capital funding settlement. Read the full manifesto here.

Policy Brief: Reducing the environmental impact of medical devices adopted for use in the NHSA new report by Brighton and Sussex Medical School explores the challenges and opportunities for integrating environmental impact considerations into key decisions and processes for medical devices in their journey from regulatory approval to adoption in England’s National Health Service (NHS). Read the policy brief here.

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Articles, podcasts and videos

We’ve pulled together a list of recent articles, podcasts and videos worth reading, watching, listening and sharing.

Please share

Please 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 anandita.pattnaik@ukhealthalliance.org. The next bulletin will be published on 12 July 2024