National strategy for NHS eco-sustainability
Making the service net-zero by 2040.
A new national strategy, aiming to make the NHS environmentally sustainable, has been launched at Scotland’s first low-carbon new-build hospital.
The Balfour Hospital, in Kirkwall, Orkney, is fully electric with air-to-water heat pumps generating all hot water and heating, and has solar panels to reduce reliance on the grid.
The NHS Scotland Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy targets five crucial areas for achieving net-zero:
- buildings – ensure well insulated, efficient and using renewable heating systems
- travel – low emission, electric vehicles and making it easier for staff, patients visitor to travel to NHS sites by public transport or bicycle
- goods and services – cutting emission in the supply chain, reducing the goods and materials used as well as reducing use of single use instruments
- care – reduce the use of emissions from medicines such as metered dose inhalers or anaesthetic gases
- communities – how to support communities to adapt to climate change and encourage them to make use of the greenspace in hospital grounds
From next year reports will be published annually setting out the progress made in implementing the strategy.
Visiting the Balfour Hospital, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
“As we continue our efforts to push ahead with the recovery of health and social care after the challenges of the last two years, we need to think long-term about how to make services more sustainable. With such a large estate, environmental sustainability is a key part of that for the NHS, so I’m pleased to of been able to launch this strategy yesterday.
“Our approach will help us to build on the great work which has already been done to accelerate our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and become environmentally sustainable. As well as the environmental impacts, I am also very mindful of the recent increase in energy prices, and there is a clear benefit in reducing energy use and increasing efficiency in everything we do.
“To achieve the transformational change that is necessary we need to establish a culture where resources are safeguarded and used responsibly. With that in mind I have been really impressed with what I have seen in Orkney. The team here are driving forward innovative ways to ensure they have low carbon emissions.”
Michael Dickson, Chief Executive of NHS Orkney Chief Executive, said:
“We have been delighted to show Mr Yousaf around the fantastic facilities we have here in Orkney. It is testament to the whole community how committed we are to building a sustainable future.
“We are proud to be leading the way in new hospital and healthcare buildings with sustainability being at the forefront of planning."
NHS Scotland Climate Emergency & Sustainability Strategy is aiming to make the NHS environmentally sustainable
NHS Orkney are further cutting emissions through their trial of an onsite treatment facility to handle low risk clinical waste, which was previously sent to the mainland for treatment.
The Balfour’s grounds are also being used for the community’s benefits giving a space for staff, patients and the wider community to rest, relax, recover and carry out recreational gardening activities.
NHS Scotland’s local Health Boards’ building emissions decreased by 64% between 1989/90 and 2020/21.
Latest News from
Emergency protections for tenants04/10/2022 13:20:00
Bill to freeze rents and safeguard against evictions.
Covid-19 Public Inquiry04/10/2022 10:05:00
The Hon. Lady Poole is to resign as chair of the independent Scottish COVID-19 Public Inquiry.
Partnership Action for Continuing Employment: client experience survey 202203/10/2022 15:05:00
Research into the experiences of clients receiving redundancy support services through Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).
Licensing scheme opens for short-term lets03/10/2022 13:05:00
Measures to establish consistent standards across the country.
UK mini-budget a “huge gamble on health of economy”03/10/2022 12:05:00
Urgent meeting sought with Chancellor.
Putting people at the heart of social care03/10/2022 10:10:00
National Care Service Forum will let the real experts help shape reforms.
School pupils lead the journey to net zero30/09/2022 15:05:00
First Minister addresses Climate Action Week National School Assembly.
A new story for Dementia30/09/2022 13:05:00
Voices of people with dementia, their families and carers to shape new strategy.
Emergency Budget Review30/09/2022 12:05:00
Members of an expert panel providing advice to the Scottish Government as part of its Emergency Budget Review (EBR) have been confirmed.