UKHACC Bulletin March 2023
The health sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and also has the potential to lead by example in demonstrating and delivering the transformational changes to achieve the combined benefits of mitigating and adapting to climate change while also improving health and reducing inequalities.
Working with our members, the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change has developed a set of ten guiding principles for health organisations to aspire to achieve these aims. Our Commitments describe specific actions that will make a positive difference for people and the planet. And they are all achievable.
Different organisations are all at different stages of the journey, and organisations can help each other by sharing knowledge and learning from one another. We will support this knowledge sharing by holding webinars and sharing content that showcases examples of organisations that have implemented the commitments. Organisations are invited to share their experiences through the case studies link on the webpage.
News and updates
Letter to the Prime Minister
In collaboration with the Walking and Cycling Alliance and other organisations, the UKHACC supported a letter to the Prime Minister expressing disappointment and asking for a reversal of the recently announced cuts to the active travel fund. It will push the nation further away from achieving 50% of journeys to be covered through walking and cycling by 2030 and the net zero 2050 targets. The letter was published in the Times and highlighted that this is a backward decision from the health, climate change, environmental and economic perspectives.
Letter to the Health Secretary
The UKHACC joined with the Doctors Association UK and several other health organisations and individuals to call on the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, to take decisive action on the environmental and health crisis. The letter highlights the need for cross-sectoral support of the Climate and Ecology Bill to ensure there is a joined-up, science-led action plan in place with UK policy aligned with its agreed international climate and biodiversity targets.
Letter to Prince William Foundation
We have written a letter to Prince William Foundation calling for action to shift the Royal Foundation and Earthshot Prize bank accounts and investments away from JP Morgan to a different, greener bank. In the letter we advise this would send an important message to the banking sector, and multiple global corporations and leaders, that while we all work to find solutions to the climate crises, we must also adapt to reduce the harms already being done through fossil fuel projects. The letter can be viewed here.
Call for Abstracts: Net Zero Clinical Care Conference
BMJ and UKHACC present a new one-day in-person conference to empower healthcare professionals to respond to the health emergency that climate change brings. The conference will be free to attend. The call for abstracts is now open, inviting healthcare professionals to share ideas and actions for reducing the carbon impact of healthcare services across all levels of the UK health and care system. Successful authors may be invited to present at the conference in addition to displaying their work as a poster. The deadline is 5 April 2023. Further details on submission categories and processes are available here.
Call for case studies: Green Surgery Project
The Green Surgery Project is a national initiative funded by the Health Foundation, involving multiple stakeholders from national institutions involved in the delivery of surgical care. The project is currently seeking case studies demonstrating successful implementation of measures designed to improve the environmental sustainability of surgical care delivery. All of the case studies received will be reviewed. Some will be chosen to feature within the report. The deadline for submissions is 30 March 2023. Please submit your case studies here.
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 is 12 pm on 11 April 2023. More information on the project and submission guidelines can be found here.
Join Ride For Their Lives Campaign to Support ULEZ Expansion in London
The ULEZ in London has improved the air quality and prevented 1 million hospital admissions in London. The Ride for their lives campaign is organising a 3-day cycle from 13-15th May to support the ULEZ expansion across Greater London that would help reduce air pollution and promote active travel. Find information on how to join and show your support on their newly launched website.
European Sustainable Healthcare Project of the Year Award
This exciting new initiative recognises and celebrates the sustainability projects of healthcare organisations across the WHO Europe region that are making a real difference in reducing the environmental impacts of healthcare activities. It is open to current or candidate members of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network. The deadline to apply is 31st March. Further information is available here.
Courses and Events
Greener NHS Training Hub
The Greener NHS training hub brings together a variety of training and educational offers at the intersection of climate and health. It aims to train and upskill the NHS workforce to deliver net zero through a set of different training opportunities available on the Future NHS page.
LSHTM – MSc Climate Change & Planetary Health
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is introducing a new master’s programme in climate change and planetary health. This course will equip academics and professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with the emerging interdisciplinary field of planetary health. Find out more here.
EVENTS: 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.
Recent event | Recording
Levelling Up for better health, biodiversity and climate outcomes
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill aims to empower communities and local authorities to work together to deliver beautiful and sustainably developed houses and neighbourhoods. It also aims to achieve better environmental outcomes through plans that conserve and enhance nature and climate action. In this session, Dr James Milner (LSHTM), Oliver Lord (Clean Cities Campaign), and Felicity Harris (Centre for Sustainable Healthcare) discussed the significant co-benefits for health, biodiversity and climate that could be achieved through the delivery of actions focused on the key areas of housing, transport and green space. The recording can be viewed here.
April 2023 (Date TBC)
Let’s Active Travel: Benefits to health and planetary health
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 esteemed speakers including Rachel Aldred, Professor of Transport and Director of the University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy. Register here.
28th March 2023 | London
Future of Care Leaders Conference London at The Kings Fund
The Future of Care Conference brings together key trends, challenges and developments in the care industry in front of the people who matter. Speakers include Dr Elaine Mulcahy, Director of the UKHACC. More details can be found here.
31st March 2023 | RCP Annual Conference 2023
WORKSHOP: Health voice in the age of climate change: we’re all public health professionals now
An interactive workshop establishing the links between the climate crisis and poor health. The sessions include how best to communicate with different stakeholders plus an opportunity to discuss with health professionals who have already inspired change. More details are available here.
19th April | 14.00 – 17.00
Bevan Commission – Wales | Let’s Not Waste
This is an urgent national call to action to reduce waste across health and care in Wales. The ‘Let’s Not Waste’ programme explores how the healthcare sector is finding innovative and sustainable ways to reduce waste. Key speakers include Sir Don Berwick, Sir Andy Haines, Dr Andy Rees and Lisa Wise from the Welsh Government, and Dr Richard Smith from the UKHACC. Registration details and further information is available here.
11-12th 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 methods of food production that can feed future generations while protecting humans, animals, and the planet. Registration information is available here.
18th May 2023 | 9.00 – 17.00 (Hybrid – UCL)
The Hot Brain – Climate Change and Neuroscience
This 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.
14th July 2023 | BMA House, London
SAVE THE DATE: Net Zero Clinical Care Conference
BMJ and UKHACC present a new one-day in-person conference to empower healthcare professionals to respond to the health emergency that climate change brings. A call for abstracts is open (as highlighted above in the opportunities/ get involved section).
Local Climate Adaptation Tool (LCAT)
LCAT is developed by the University of Exeter, European Centre for Environment & Human Health and Then Try This, in partnership with Cornwall Council in the UK. It is a very versatile and evidence-based tool that provides information on the specific changes in climate in a particular region, public health impacts relevant to that region, the most vulnerable populations and the best climate adaptation practices that can be incorporated by the local decision-makers. It is currently a prototype and is continually being improved. Further information and the tool can be tested here.
Reports, articles and videos
We’ve pulled together a list of recent reports, articles and videos worth reading, watching and sharing.
- In this blog post, Dr Richard Smith reviews a new book by Dougald Hine called At Work in the Ruins. He writes about the work we must take to find paths in our predicament.
- In this article, Dr Anandita Pattnaik explores what the UK government is doing and what can be done following the recently published world air quality report 2022 that ranked the UK 101 out of 131 countries in terms of worst air quality.
- Sir David Attenborough’s new documentary Wild Isles aired last Sunday. It is a celebration of British and Irish wildlife.
- Air pollution in New South Wales is estimated to cost $4.8 billion every year. Read more about the findings of a long-term government study.
- This piece discusses how globally the health impact of climate change is starting to get attention.
- As per the WHO, at least 150,000 deaths every year are due to climate change. This article explores how global warming is making people sick.
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 21st April 2023.