Read more on the project on the Barts.Dental instagram page.
All month, Comms dedicated WeShare's front page to green and sustainability issues:
Plus they kindly created a brand new Green at Barts Health intranet page! Thank you, Meg Skinner and Team!
As part of the Trust's Sustainability Month festivities, did you catch Green at Barts Health members introducing December's weekly staff newsletters? Each site newsletter featured a contribution from an environmentally-minded colleague detailing what they hope we can achieve together for our patients and the Trust!
Read the Group Support Services newsletter here.
Read the St Barts site newsletter here.
Did you catch Green at Barts Health members Flo, Anna, Nadia anf Zahra present at the all staff webinar? Watch the recording for their contribution and sustainability presentations from Trust Secretary Shayne De Garis, Trust Chair Jacqui Smith, Head of Sustainabilty Team Rob Speight and our CEO Alwen Williams!
"Dr Kyle Merritt had worked through a record-breaking heatwave and wildfires when he met a 70-year-old patient with worsening medical conditions. He then diagnosed climate change as key reason for her decline in health..."
"The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has taken the decision to cease all remaining financial investments in fossil fuels as soon as possible and by the end of 2022 at the latest.
Previously RPS has taken the approach of ‘Responsible Investing’, where we use our funds to drive change in the companies we invest in. The environment and human wellbeing have always been a core consideration of our investment approach. However, we now recognise that this influence was not great enough to balance out the negative impacts of climate change. The RPS Assembly today decided to make this amendment to its investment strategy as part of the RPS continued drive to become an environmentally responsible organisation..."
Our Joint Vice Chair Dr Anna Moore appeared on BMJ's Sharp Scratch Podcast to explore what medical schools may not be teaching students about climate and health, and what they can do about it...
Green at Barts Health member Nicola hosts #globalhealthglobalbeats on @sohoradio: "This episode was recorded during COP26 and is a show full of music related to the climate crisis and an homage to nature. Tune in for some music to help contain some of the ecoanxiety and then some to fuel the fire and continue the battle post COP26. Since this show was recorded world leaders have failed us in phasing out coal completely and failed to show us the immediate action we need to keep heating to 1.5 degrees. Our future rests on our shoulders - we must keep fighting for #climatejustice"
Collaborating with their staff, partners and suppliers, King's have established a five-year sustainability programme to manage and reduce their environmental impact and deliver continuous sustainability improvement to our staff, patients and wider community...
Its all over! COP26 is now finished. Watch this space for our reactions.
Here are daily bulletins from the conference:
Highlights: Saturday 13/11/21, "Closure of Negotiations"...
Highlights: Friday 12/11/21, "Closure of Negotiations"...
Read The Guardian's What happened at Cop26 – day 12 at a glance
Highlights: Thursday 11/11/21, "Cities, Regions and Built Environment"...
Read The Guardian's What happened at Cop26 – day 11 at a glance
Highlights: Wednesday 10/11/21, "Transport"...
Highlights: Tuesday 9/11/21, "Gender"...
Read The Guardian's What happened at Cop26 – day nine at a glance
Highlights: Monday 8/11/21, "Adaptation, Loss and Damage"...
Read The Guardian's What happened at Cop26 – day eight at a glance
Saturday 6/11/21, "Nature"...
Green at Barts Health members were amongst the 10,000s marching in the Global Day for Climate Action march in London:
Highlights: Friday 5/11/21, "Youth and Public Engagement"...
Read The Guardian's What happened at Cop26 – day five at a glance
Highlights: Thursday 4/11/21, "Energy"...
Read The Guardian's What happened at Cop26 – day four at a glance
Watch Green at Barts Health's own Dr Zahra Shehabi feature in day 4's Futures Lab: Climate-Smart Healthcare for a Healthier Planet video (at 41 minutes):
Highlights: Wednesday 3/11/21, "Energy"...
Read The Guardian's What happened at Cop26 – day three at a glance
Highlights: Tuesday 2/11/21, "World Leaders Summit"...
Read The Guardian's What happened at Cop26 – day two at a glance
Highlights: Monday 1/11/21, "World Leaders Summit"...
Read The Guardian's What happened at Cop26 today – day one at a glance
Highlights: Sunday 31/10/21, "Procedural Opening and Negotiations"...
Week 1, 12 weeks to go! 6/8/21:
To get us started, we've got some action on green space and health. Protecting our green spaces is important for the planet, but did you know access to green spaces is also linked to the wellbeing of our healthcare workers?
Fact: "Staff who said they regularly spent time in their sites’ green spaces during the working day reported significantly higher levels of wellbeing." Read more about this here.
What can you do: Not so long ago, there was a beautiful garden in the grounds of the Royal London which has now been sadly converted into a carpark- promoting inactive travel while taking away that vital natural space for staff and insects. Click here to sign our letter to ask the Royal London to provide green space for staff.
Week 2, 11 weeks to go! 13/8/21:
Fact: At our recent sustainable journal club meeting, we learned that "The most comprehensive analyses of the global farming system concluded that shifting to a plant-based diet would have the most impact on planetary health compared to any other single driver of climate change."1 Whatsmore, a sustainable diet is also better for health: shifting to a planetary health diet could save 11 million premature deaths per year. A win-win!
What can you do: Cut down on meat, or even better: go meat-free or fully plant-based! Start by going without meat this weekend, or trying the plant-based options from our Hospitals' Eatwell canteens at work. Share your pledge with colleagues or friends, or patients, to have an even bigger impact.
Week 3, 10 weeks to go! 20/8/21:
What can you do: Tell them you’re worried about our hospitals and other institutions: ask them what plans they have to protect them from the worst ravages of flooding and extreme weather exacerbated by the climate crisis, and what actions they are taking to safeguard your ward’s future.
Week 4, 9 weeks to go! 27/8/21:
Fact: Each car in London costs the NHS and society nearly £8,000 due to air pollution!
What you can do: Read the report from Global Action Plan that generated this figure, l
Week 5, 8 weeks to go! 3/9/21:
Fact: in 2013, Operation TLC, a hospital behavioural change programme initiated by Barts Health NHS Trust and Global Action Plan (GAP), helped place our hospitals on a path to meeting their target of reducing CO2 emissions to 34% of 2007 levels by 2020. Elsewhere, similar programmes contributed to 25% fewer patient privacy intrusions, 38% fewer requests to change room temperature, and 33% fewer sleep disruptions! A great demonstration of the link between ecological savings and patient benefits…
What you can do: Operation TLC worked by encouraging tiny simple changes from staff that all add up: turn off unused equipment, switch off lights, and close doors behind you! The Trust saves money from energy efficiency and you’ll be helping to create a healing environment for patients, boost staff productivity, and reduce emissions!
Week 6, 7 weeks to go! 10/9/21:
Fact: Time for a break! We all enjoy a quick pick-me-up, but what’s the carbon cost of your coffee? Lattes reportedly have an average carbon footprint of about 0.55 kg, followed by cappucinos on 0.41 kg and flat whites on 0.34 kg.
What you can do: Switch to sustainably produced coffees and these values fall to 0.33 kg, 0.2 kg and 0.13 kg respectively, and using non-dairy milk alternatives further reduces the carbon footprint of your coffee!
Week 7, 6 weeks to go! 17/9/21:
Fact: This week, as part of St Barts Hospital's sustainability-themed Audit Day, Green at Barts Health's own Anna Moore gave a presentation on "The Climate Crisis, Healthcare & Health" that stopped ward rounds in their tracks! Anna reported that healthcare is responsible for 4% of the UK's carbon emissions. Looking at sustainable respiratory healthcare specifically, Anna shared greeninhaler.org’s shocking statistic that “The most commonly used inhaler in the UK, Ventolin Evohaler™ has a carbon footprint of 28kg per inhaler. That’s the same carbon footprint as the tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of driving 175miles (or from London to Sheffield) in a small car. Dry powder inhalers on the other hand typically have a carbon footprint of less than 1kg.”
What you can do: Have a look at Anna's presentation on the Green at Barts Health website, where you can view and download her slides as a pdf or powerpoint. What low carbon alternatives to common practice can you identify for your patients?
Week 8, 5 weeks to go! 24/9/21:
FACT: The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is the phenomenon of built-up areas experiencing higher temperatures than outlying areas, and in London can cause us to experience temperatures up to 10°C higher than rural areas. These hot temperatures are a significant health threat; the UK’s 2020 heatwave causing 2566 excess deaths.
What you can do: Learn how communities can combat the UHI effect via successful town-planning on the EPA website, and consider if YOUR council are doing enough… You can also support the work of charities like Trees for Cities to help bring more heat-defeating greenery into our urban centres.
Week 9, 4 weeks to go! 1/10/21:
Fact: We all know the climate crisis is a health crisis. But as with all climate related health effects, the impacts will be unequal. Greta Thunberg spoke at the Youth4Climate summit this week, criticising leaders’ actionless words on the climate crisis. Backing-up her call for action, a study published in Science this week, Intergenerational inequities in exposure to climate extremes, concludes “Today’s babies will… grow up to experience twice as many droughts and wildfires and three times more river floods and crop failures than someone who is 60 years old today…”
What you can do: Read about the study’s findings, and listen to Greta’s speech, urging the people to take action… Then find a local green group and get involved: https://takeclimateaction.uk/near-you
WEEK 10, 3 weeks to go! 8/10/21:
WEEK 11, 2 weeks go! 15/8/21:
Fact: Active travel has multiple environmental and health benefits: in week 4 we reported Global Action Plan’s findings that each car in London costs the NHS £8000, and The Health Foundation recently reported that “if walking and cycling rates in all regions in England increase to the same level as the regions with the highest average daily miles walked and cycled per person, around 1,190 early deaths could be prevented each year”.
What you can do: Get on your bike and join the “Green at Barts Health COP-26 Challenge” Group on Strava at https://www.strava.com/clubs/GreenAtBartsHealth.
Log the rides or runs you go on in the run-up to COP-26 and we’ll travel to host-city Glasgow and back (hopefully a few times!) collectively…
WEEK 12, 1 week go! 22/8/21:
FACT: Life expectancy is as low as 66 in the Possil area of COP26 host city Glasgow, and healthy life expectancy as low as 58 for men in Hackney. With climate change inextricably linked to worsening health inequalities, it’s of vital importance to the most vulnerable people in the UK – and far beyond - that world leaders set a course to ameliorate the worst effects at next week’s conference.
ACTION: Last week we asked you to log your runs, rides and walks on Strava in our "Green at Barts Health COP26 Challenge" Group, where cumulatively we made it to Glasgow and back with the miles we logged! This week we ask you to commit to marching with us… at the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice on Saturday 6/11/21.
As part of QMUL's Sustainability Week, our Joint Vice Chair Dr Anna Moore contributed to "Equity and Sustainable Healthcare; a panel discussion" on 20/10/21. Joined by panellists drawn from multiple disciplines and stages of their career, from medical students to senior medical school faculty, health professionals and educationalists from outside healthcare to discuss: “Sustainable Healthcare is Equitable Healthcare”. The conversation ranged widely, from the need for early years education on planetary health, via global differences in our understanding of “sustainability”, to the changes in our structural system needed to allow us to practice healthcare in a more equitable and sustainable way. Actions to take forward from the discussion included continuing collaborating and communicating, asking WHY, engaging, encouraging diversity of thinking and keeping our patients’ perspective at the centre of our actions.
Our Joint Vice Chair Dr Anna Moore, pictured, recently wrote an editorial in the BMJ's climate crisis themed issue.
In A planetary health curriculum for medicine, Anna outlines how by applying a planetary health and sustainable healthcare lens to all learning, medical students gain vital clinical skills, an appreciation of the interdependence of human health, healthcare and the environment, and experience of critical and systems thinking—having also contributed to the learning of their peers and lecturers along the way.
Florence and Anna appeared on UCLP's London Simulation Network Podcast, and talked to host Nicola Stoke, a Medical Education & Simulation Fellow at the Homerton, about Green at Barts Health and sustainability in healthcare. You can freely download and stream it now (but you may not be able to access it on the Trust's network as SoundCloud is blocked).
In the spirit of party conference season, on 11/10/21 the Greener Anaesthesia & Sustainability Project (GASP) and GOSH held their first ever conference; "GASP CoN 21 - Sustainable Surgery". You can now read the posters presented at the conference here.
Thursday 7/10/21 "marks one year on from when the NHS became the first health service in the world to commit to reaching net zero emissions.
When we set these targets, we knew they were ambitious, and that achieving them would be challenging. But today, I’m proud to share that 12 months on, we are on track to meet our targets, reducing emissions equivalent to powering 1.1 million homes with electricity for a year.
That achievement is down to the passion and drive of NHS staff and leaders, turning ambition into practical actions. Almost nine out of 10 NHS staff support the NHS taking action to tackle climate change, and more than 155 NHS Trusts and Integrated Care Systems now have Green Plans in place or in development...
As one of the largest employers in the world, contributing to almost 5% of UK carbon emissions, the NHS has a real opportunity, responsibility and interest in tackling this threat head on.
The question is no longer what can we do, but what are we doing?..."
"This October over 30 passionate healthcare workers will cycle from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London all the way to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow to coincide with the COP26 climate meeting...
The cyclists include staff from GOSH and Evelina Children's Hospital in London, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Sheffield Children's Hospital, the Great North Children's Hospital in Newcastle, and the Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow.
By joining together on this ride, the cyclists want to galvanise others to act and to establish a network of likeminded individuals who can help find solutions to build a more sustainable NHS.
Climate change, environmental degradation and air pollution pose a real, immediate, and growing threat to human health with significant impacts on children. The World Health Organisation estimates that over 80% of the illnesses, injuries and deaths due to climate change are in children..."
Read more here.
For St Barts Hospital's sustainability-themed audit day on 15/9/21, Green at Barts Health's Anna Moore gave a presentation so engaging it interrupted @tb-Doc's ward round:
You can access the slides for Anna's presentation, "The Climiate Crisis, Healthcare & Health", below. Would you like the full presentation? Get in touch and Green at Barts Health's educators can come and speak at your event: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Hot ambient conditions and associated heat stress can increase mortality and morbidity, as well as increase adverse pregnancy outcomes and negatively affect mental health. High heat stress can also reduce physical work capacity and motor-cognitive performances, with consequences for productivity, and increase the risk of occupational health problems. Almost half of the global population and more than 1 billion workers are exposed to high heat episodes and about a third of all exposed workers have negative health effects. However, excess deaths and many heat-related health risks are preventable, with appropriate heat action plans involving behavioural strategies and biophysical solutions. Extreme heat events are becoming permanent features of summer seasons worldwide, causing many excess deaths. Heat-related morbidity and mortality are projected to increase further as climate change progresses, with greater risk associated with higher degrees of global warming. Particularly in tropical regions, increased warming might mean that physiological limits related to heat tolerance (survival) will be reached regularly and more often in coming decades. Climate change is interacting with other trends, such as population growth and ageing, urbanisation, and socioeconomic development, that can either exacerbate or ameliorate heat-related hazards. Urban temperatures are further enhanced by anthropogenic heat from vehicular transport and heat waste from buildings. Although there is some evidence of adaptation to increasing temperatures in high-income countries, projections of a hotter future suggest that without investment in research and risk management actions, heat-related morbidity and mortality are likely to increase..."
New at RLH's and Whipps X's Elior EatWell restaurants: you can use this new app to avoid using disposable cutlery...
We know many of you (and us) have been bothered by the constant use of single use packaging in the canteen. Great news is there is now an alternative! Whipps cross and RLH have introduced the caulibox scheme. A simple way of using a reusable container if you’re not able to stay and eat your lunch on a plate. Take it one step further and make sure you carry some reusable cutlery with you too. You can find some posters attached to this email- why not print a copy or two and share them in your staff area?
The canteens are also allowing reusable cups back in, if you remember to take yours you get a 20p discount on your hot drink. How many in your team can you get using a reusable cup? We’ll be offering a prize for whoever can get the biggest order! Take a photo of you and your team and send it in to us, or share it on social media.
On 12th August, hopefuls competed for the prize of best innovation at Dragon's Den(tal), with Green at Barts Health's own Zahra Shehabi on the panel...
Student Rawand Ahmed Shado pitched his idea of using the Swedish suction instead of the traditional saliva ejectors/suctions. Rawand said "disposing the Swedish suction is better for the environment as it is fossil-free, bio-based polyethylene made from sugar canes. It is completely derived from renewable resource, sugar cane. What I really like about the Swedish suction is that it has Forest Stewardship Council (FSC certificate) – meaning the manufacturer does responsible forestry of sugar cane to derive the polyethylene for the suction. The production of these suctions has a negative carbon footprint."
Rawand's pitch was so convincing that the Dental Hospital has now switched to the biodegradable suction cups! Here he is modelling them:
The winning pitch though was "From Plastic Bottle to Teaching Model" from Maher Rashwan Mohamed and Alexander Cresswell-Boyes: 3D-printing anatomical educational aids from waste! Watch their presentation on the Barts.Dental instagram page.
Following the latest IPCC report and the flooding of our hospitals, our Chair Florence Wedmore writes in the BMJ, "this is climate breakdown, and it is having a real effect on our patients".
Read the full piece on The BMJ website here.
Green at Barts Health's Zahra Shebabi and Envirodent have introduced reusable face masks at the Dental Hospital. Our staff are pictured below in plain black, Climate Stripes and Seagrass masks. Zahra and team would like to thank Roz Davies from @sustainablercht & Tom from @revolution.zero.hq for their support, our IPC team who have been engaging and supportive of this initiative, and dental nurse Franka Carrington (centre picture) who has led on the operational side of distribution & engagement.
Read more on the project on the Barts.Dental instagram page.
At our Annual General Meeting on 28/7/21 we elected a Chair (Florence Wedmore), joint Vice Chairs (Anna Moore and Nadia Audhali), Website Co-ordinator (Adam Tocock), Comms Lead (Isabel Sharratt - with assistance from Zahra Shehabi). The role of Treasurer is yet to be filled, so please get in touch if you are interested. We discussed our successes from the past year, and where we should direct our focus in the year ahead. Please email if you would like a copy of the minutes: email@example.com
Greener NHS Net Zero Advisor Peter May invites you to help spread the word...
"Engaging the NHS in 1.3 million actions to support a Greener NHS
We are looking for people to help spread messages, raise awareness and drive activity in the run up to COP26!
If you are passionate about driving carbon reduction and improving the NHS’ environmental impacts, this is one for you. We have an enormous campaign in the works to create 1.3 million greener actions in the NHS before COP26 in November. We are looking for local-level NHS staff to join an engagement scheme to help us get the word out and get people taking action.
If you’re interested in finding out more, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org. Expressing an interest now does not sign you up to anything. You’ll be invited to an introductory workshop in July (it’ll be recorded for people who can’t attend). You’ll find out more about our campaign and this role, and you’ll have a chance to feed in on the design of the engagement scheme (including what you’d like to be called!).
Individuals who join the scheme will get regular updates from the team in the run up to COP26, detailing upcoming focus areas and key messages and resources to help you get the word out. After COP26, we’ll review with the group about next steps and how to continue working with everyone and keep up the local activity.
If you have any questions, do get in touch. If you know of anyone else who might be interested and works in primary care, community care, secondary care, a trust, an ICS or a CCG, please feel free to forward this on and pass on Kim’s contact details."
Clean Air Day is the UK's largest air pollution campaign, engaging thousands of people at hundreds of events, and reaching millions more through the media. This year, it took place place on 17 June 2021.
We made a big song and dance about it, with lots of Barts Health colleagues involved, and a visit from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
Our stalls at Royal London, Whipps Cross, Mile End, and Newham Hospitals engaging with staff and members of the public throughout the day with informative displays, leaflets and posters, games for people to play and Green at Barts Health members encouraging people to make a pledge on what action they can take today.
Expert panel discussion: We hosted an online event to discuss what to do next to tackle air pollution, featuring Jonathon Grigg (expert on air pollution), and an activist from the group Choked Up. You can watch the recording of the discussion here!
But we're not done yet! Our members have written a letter to the estates and sustainability team to demand better and more secure cycle storage at Royal London Hospital, and a letter to the council about the cycle lane on Vallance Road near RLH, which really needs improving - please sign here!
Have a read of this report shared by The King's Fund: Modelling the health impact of air pollution in Lambeth and Southwark
"Air pollution has an adverse effect on people’s health, both in the long and short term. This report seeks to quantify the impact of air pollution on the health of the populations of the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. In these areas, the majority of air pollution comes from road traffic, but also from heating and construction emissions.
COMING SOON: Neil Allen's waste blog!
Banner image: "Warming Stripes for England from 1884-2020" from https://showyourstripes.info.