Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin NHS backing greener NHS and climate change action

17 November 2021

Health chiefs at Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) are backing plans to create a greener NHS and vowing to take action to improve health by tackling climate change.

The pledge comes at a time when the Glasgow COP26 summit has been shining a light upon the worldwide climate crisis and encouraging international cooperation to address the global threat. It also follows the launch of a nationwide NHS drive to make health services more sustainable.

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG are part of  Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS, who have set up a climate change working group. They are currently developing a system-wide ‘Green Plan’, to be completed by the end of March next year (2022). Ahead of its launch, each ICS organisation is looking at the way it operates to check whether it can be run in a more efficient and sustainable way.

Sir Neil McKay, Independent Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS, said it was clear that climate change poses a major threat to NHS staff, patients, and their communities, and that it would benefit everyone in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to take steps now to reduce emissions and cut waste.

“There is a direct link between the health of our planet and the health of our people. The NHS is acting to reduce the harmful gases it puts into the atmosphere. Fewer emissions will mean fewer patients with asthma, heart disease, and cancer. It will also reduce any disruption to the delivery of the care we provide.

“Since 2010, efforts across the health service have resulted in NHS emissions being cut nationally by 30%, which was already improving care, as well as the health and wellbeing of patients. Decisions have also been made to invest in greener medicines, greener transport, greener buildings, and greener energy consumption.

Sir Neil added: “Despite this progress, there is still more to be done. Together, with the help of staff across the NHS, we hope to achieve our target of becoming a net zero health service by 2040. We were the first health service in the world to make the commitment and intend to be the first to reach that status.”

Andy Begley, Chief Executive at Shropshire Council, has been appointed the ICS Net Zero lead, taking on the challenge of reducing carbon emissions across the ICS.

Andy said: “As a care system we know there’s overwhelming support for action on climate change across our workforce. Even small differences to the way we all work can make a big difference to the future of our world and its climate.

“We are listening to our staff and working hard in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to identify where we can change the way we work to reduce waste, duplication and pollution to the benefit of everyone. The more of us who introduce small actions into our everyday routines, the more we can lessen our impact on the environment, and the more we can improve health.”

Page last updated 17 November 2021