Healthcare Leader have launched Countdown to Net Zero, an NHS sustainability report looking at the progress so far on the journey to NHS net zero emissions by 2040.

Healthcare Leader is the brand for primary care in the health and care system and, building on our years of supporting the clinical commissioner community, we have produced the Countdown to Net Zero: climate change and the NHS report which takes an in-depth look at this issue.

That the climate emergency is a health emergency is not in doubt. In the UK the Met Office has warned that heatwaves like the ones seen in 2018, which resulted in an estimated 863 excess deaths, are now 30 times more likely to happen due to climate change and by 2050 are expected to happen every other year.

Building on our roundtable on sustainability we look at medicines, waste, estates and transport to see the latest development in these areas in the NHS system to tackle climate change and reach the net zero emissions target by 2040.

To gain greater insight on developments in this area we spoke to head of sustainability at NHS Supply Chain, Heidi Barnard, and director of SEE Sustainability Dr Matthew Sawyer about what more can be done at a system and practice level.

Editor, Victoria Vaughan, says: ‘With budgets tight and patient demand rising, the focus on sustainability might be hard to maintain. However, as our report highlights, the health benefits of making inroads on carbon emissions and improving our environment are obvious and ultimately lead back to a healthier population.

‘While the news on climate change is not positive, our report highlights the great efforts that people across the NHS are making to hit the ambitious NHS Net Zero target. It brings together the latest initiative and thoughts of those leading the sustainability agenda in the NHS.’

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