Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS reveals sustainability plan

Cumbria, Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CTNW) has launched a ‘Green Plan’ to help combat climate change and outline the organisation’s new sustainability targets.

The plan will see the trust reduce its carbon emissions, and embrace new ways of sustainable working. The document will also be updated going forward, with the next changes to take place by March 2022. As a larger goal, the trust also aims to have “net-zero” emissions by 2040.

Anna Foster, Trust Lead for Strategy and Sustainability at CNTW, said: “Climate change and pollution pose a serious threat to the health of the people we serve. We have already taken some steps in recent years to reduce our waste and lower our emissions, but our Green Plan clearly sets out ambitious goals for providing more sustainable care.”

The Green Plan has four key principles: prioritising prevention, empowering individuals and communities, improving value, and considering carbon. The plan is backed by James Duncan, Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive at CNTW NHS Foundation Trust, and Darren Best, a Non-Executive Director.

The publication is a part of the ‘CNTWClimateHealth’ programme, which aims to raise awareness of climate change, and will build a hospital unit in Northumberland to a new “net-zero carbon standard.”

The CNTWClimateHealth Programme is measured against the Sustainable Development Assessment Tool (SDAT), which covers 10 areas. In March of 2020, the programme’s score from this self-assessment tool was 44 per cent, an increase on the previous year’s score of 41 per cent.

The programme is aiming to fully roll-out all-electric vehicles across the region by 2026, as part of the effort to reduce carbon emissions, and to achieve further progress in the area, several heating systems in hospitals will have to be replaced. As part of goals around raising awareness, it is also hoped that by 2026 there will be a CNTWClimateHealth Champion within every team.

Ken Jarrold CBE, Chair of the Council of Governors and Board of Directors at CNTW, said of the plans: “The effects of climate and ecological change are very likely to negatively affect the physical and mental health of the UK population. We recognise our responsibility to deliver our services in a sustainable way that meets the needs of the people who need our services today while minimising harm to future generations. Our new Green Plan sets out how we are going to do this.

“We believe that by focusing on hope and opportunities for change and recovery, in line with our trust’s core values, together we can make a positive impact.”

Another ambition relates to green space on hospital sites. CNTWClimateHealth has already installed a Bike4Health programme at St Georges Park and is starting an allotment scheme in Fenham for service users who misuse substances. By 2026, the programme also hopes to put a walking scheme in place for all wards, as well as access to cycling facilities.

In regards to waste prevention, the trust hopes that – also by 2026 – “sickness absence will have reduced due to lower air pollution and active lifestyles.”

Find the Green Plan in full, here.