I recently came across the interesting concept of sustainable healthcare. The NHS is the largest single emitter of greenhouse gases in the public sector, and contributes 25% of all public sector organisations. The largest contributor is the energy used by NHS buildings, followed by medication, medical equipment, and then clinically related travel. Considering climate change poses a threat to human health, should it not be a duty of the NHS to take action to reduce its carbon footprint? There are several ways this could be done, the most basic of these using energy saving equipment. Another area to review is medication. I work in the area of psychiatry where 50% of severely mentally ill patients are not compliant with their medication. This represents a huge amount of energy waste for no clinical benefit. Perhaps there should be a greater focus on healthcare that could benefit both the patient and the environment. For example, community gardening groups for patients with mental illness in the place of (unused) medication. This concept is being explored and you can read more about it by going to the website below.
[zilla_button url="http://sustainablehealthcare.org.uk/" style="blue" size="small" type="square" target="_blank"] Visit the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Website [/zilla_button]