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17th May 2024

UKHACC Bulletin May 2024

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

We’re inviting you to join the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change Ride for their Lives cycle during Great Big Green Week 2024. It will be a fun ride around Regent’s Park on Sunday 9 June, to inspire people to see the benefits of swapping a car for a bike for the good of health and our environment and call on our election candidates to step up and play their part. After the cycle, we’ll be stopping for a chat and an opportunity to swap books on climate, nature and health with other participants. Sign up here.

Health professionals are important advocates in raising awareness about the harms to health from air pollution, and to promote and lead in demonstrating the positive benefits of taking action, such as cycling instead of driving. It would be great if you could spread the word!

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News and updates

UKHACC calls on GMC to not be on the wrong side of history

Last month, Dr Sarah Benn, a GP, was suspended from the medical register by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, the disciplinary arm of the General Medical Council (GMC), following a court ruling that found her in contempt of court for peaceful climate protests within a prohibited zone. The tribunal said Dr Benn’s fitness to practise as a doctor had been impaired because of the misconduct. Following the verdict UKHACC called on the GMC to recognise the exceptional circumstances that have led doctors committed to public health to resort to actions judged to be criminal and to seek all possible ways to avoid removing the livelihood of doctors courageous enough to break what they see as immoral laws. Many other organisations have also expressed their views.

David Pencheon becomes an ambassador for UKHACC

The UKHACC welcomes a new ambassador David Pencheon who was the founding director of the Sustainable Development Unit for NHS England and Public Health England, which was established in 2007 and has now grown into the Greener NHS.

RCOG announce new collaborative project: Taking action to deliver low carbon, equitable maternity care

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH), The Sustainable Healthcare Coalition (SHC), and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is undertaking a new project to study maternity care pathways with the aim of identifying and tackling carbon and health inequity hotspots. 

High Court rules in favour of an updated and robust new Net-Zero strategy

Client Earth, Friends of the Earth and the Good Law Project’s legal challenge against the UK government regarding its inadequate net zero strategy has emerged victorious. This means that the government will have to draw up a new strategy within 12 months.

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Have your say

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. More information on how to respond here.

Support: Open Letter on Hospital Food by Plants First Healthcare Campaign

Plants First Healthcare is a campaign run by a coalition of NHS health professionals who are increasingly concerned about the impacts of climate change on human health and committed to urgently taking action to minimise these harms through evidence-based strategies that will benefit individual, population and planetary health. They are calling on all NHS hospitals and organisations across the UK to adopt a “Plant-Based by Default” food menu to improve health outcomes, cut carbon emissions, reduce pandemic risk, limit antibiotic resistance and decrease food costs, all without restricting choice. Sign the letter to show your support. 

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Opportunities/Get involved

Call for Case Studies: Lancet Commission

The Lancet Commission on Sustainable Healthcare (LCSH) was established to define the key elements of a rapid, effective, efficient, and just transition to low-polluting, sustainable, resilient health systems across different settings. Currently, there is a lack of data about what is going on in real healthcare settings. The LCSH is welcoming case studies to help supplement our understanding of how health systems around the world are taking action on sustainability. More information is available here.

The Great Big Green Week

The Great Big Green Week organised by the Climate Coalition will see people across the country join together in a nationwide celebration of action to protect the planet. It will show that communities across the UK are making swaps every day to help create a better tomorrow – and now it’s time for politicians to step up and play their part. Click here to get involved

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 is supported by many health organisations. 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.

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Events & Courses

EVENTS:

23 May | Online

Plant-based diets in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes

Organised by the Plant Based Health Professionals, this webinar would help health professionals understand the mechanisms of action of a plant-based diet on glycaemic control, weight loss and how to formulate a plant-based diet based on patient preference and other cardiometabolic risk factors. More information and a registration link can be found here. 

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. 

30-31 May | Hybrid – Inverness, Scotland

NHS Highland Medical Education Conference

NHS Highland is hosting a Medical Education conference with the theme of ‘Striving for Sustainability: Medical Education in a Climate of Change’. The conference is free and accessible to all healthcare professionals with involvement or interest in education and sustainability. Register here. 

7 June | Online

Commercial Determinants of Health – The Evidence and Importance for Public Health Practice

The Faculty of Public Health is hosting this webinar as part of its ‘’Distinguished Lecture Series’’ to discuss the importance of the commercial determinants of health for public health practice. More information can be found 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.

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.

COURSES

Plant-based nutrition – University of Winchester

Diet choices are now the top cause of death and disability globally. Not only is our diet causing ill health, but it is also a major factor contributing to climate destruction. The course is designed for health professionals (e.g. doctors, nurses, dieticians, nutritionists, physiotherapists) who would like to incorporate evidence-based nutrition into routine clinical practice. The next course is beginning on 21 May 2024 (other dates can be found here). More information is available here.

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New resources

Planetary Health Report Card 2024

The Planetary Health Report Card aims to catalyse positive change in curricula,

research, community engagement, student initiatives support, and campus

sustainability initiatives through meticulous assessment and collaboration. The latest report with over 1000 students at 151 schools in 18 countries taking part across medicine, pharmacy, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and dentistry is out now.

ATACH newsletter

The Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH), a WHO-hosted network, supports countries to build climate-resilient, low-carbon sustainable health systems through collaboration and innovation, and you can be part of this effort. Subscribe to their newsletter to get updates including upcoming events, new resources and more related to advancing the climate change and health agenda. 

Report: How can a healthy ocean improve human health and enhance well-being on a rapidly changing planet?

A new Ocean Panel Blue Paper exploring the topic of human health and its relationship with the ocean has just been published. The report explores four key areas of opportunity where the ocean can be a source of positive human health outcomes.

Report: Rethinking the food system for health, climate and nature

A new report by the Green Alliance argues that a data-led approach to improving the food system, using the National Food Strategy as its blueprint, can be used as a platform for the UK to display global influence. The report can be accessed 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.

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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 14 June 2024