South East London Integrated Care System shares its ‘Green Plan’

South East London Integrated Care System has shared its ‘Green Plan,’ setting out its three-year strategy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions and promote sustainable healthcare. 

Entitled ‘South East London Green Plan 2022-2025 Our plan for sustainable primary care,’ the 77-page plan is part of NHS England’s two primary net zero targets, which includes reaching net zero by 2040 for the NHS Carbon Footprint – emissions the organisation controls directly – and to reach net zero by 2045 for emissions the NHS influences.  

The document highlights 11 areas of focus within its aim to reduce ICS greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously ‘improving care quality’ and ‘adding social value wherever possible. The areas of focus include:  

  • Workforce and System Leadership: Identifying, educating, and resourcing clinical climate champions, who will be supported by ICS level leadership with protected time to work on the green plan.  
  • Model of Care: For the Southeast London ICS to support PCNs (Primary Care Network) to explore innovative models of care that aim to tackle neighbourhood health inequalities and create health within communities. 
  • Digital Transformation: Working with the CCG/ICBs (Closed Commissioning Group and Integrated Care Board) to continue the digitisation of patient records in general practice and to identify current baseline, areas of good practice in SEL, and barriers to digitisation
  • Travel and Transportation: Identifying facilitators for and barriers to active travel in staff and patients by each practice/PCN.  
  • Estates and Facilities: Measuring energy use within practices to see if individual practices are above or below average energy users, while supporting practices with actions to reduce estates-related emissions. 
  • Medicines: Employing the Medicines Optimisation Team to ensure that primary care staff have the training and support to identify patients at high risk of overprescribing, and to facilitate de-prescribing.  
  • Sustainable Respiratory Care: Running educational events about sustainable respiratory care to support practices in meeting the IIF targets for improving inhaler prescribing and optimising asthma care.  
  • Supply Chain and Procurement: Contributing to the development and implementation of a joint sustainable procurement policy and guidance across the ICS and contributing to sharing best practice.  
  • Adaptation: Reviewing the adaptation plans for heat and extreme weather events, with a focus on heat adaptation plans and the immediate improvements needed to healthcare premises in general practice. 
  • Health Inequalities: Reducing health inequalities is to be embedded as an action at every level of work under review by the ICS when implementing the plan. 
  • Biodiversity and a Nature-Positive NHS: To explore the nature-based prescribing opportunities in South East London. 

Christina Windle, Chief Operating Officer, said of the new sustainability strategy: “The science is clear – already the climate is costing lives of people right here in South East London and it is going to get much worse. We cannot preserve the health of our residents – now or in the future – with an unhealthy planet.” 

To read the document in full, please click here.