Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ declaration recognises impact climate change has on health of local people

Posted Thursday, December 2, 2021 3:12 PM

Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ declaration recognises impact climate change has on health of local people

Sherwood Forest Hospitals is recognising the impact climate change has on the health of local people by declaring a climate emergency.

Backed by Trust Directors and Executives, the Trust is one of eight NHS organisations to officially recognise the affect climate change has on health by signing the Climate Emergency UK declaration.

The declaration supports Sherwood Forest Hospitals’ Green Plan commitments, which include: 

  • Reducing carbon emissions from energy consumption by 80% by 2025.
  • Aim to cut patient transport mileage by 25% by 2025 to improve local air quality and reduce the health impacts of air pollution on children and adults.
  • Reduce fossil fuel use on their estates over the next five years, with the long-term goal of phasing out use before 2040.
  • Reduce their overall waste volume by 7% per year to 2025 and continue their zero-to-landfill commitment.
  • Cease purchase of single-use plastic stirrers and straws, single-use plastic cutlery, plates or single use cups made of expanded polystyrene or oxo-degradable plastics by April 2022.

Climate Emergency UK is a database of climate declarations made by public and private sector organisations, including NHS Trusts and Local Authorities. It pools best practice, insight and knowledge to support the UK’s commitment to sustainability and positive climate action.

Dr Helena Clements, Sherwood’s Climate Action Clinical Lead said: “Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing our society today. There are implications for physical and mental health, both directly and indirectly, across the population.

“As an NHS Trust, we have a responsibility to ensure efficient use of resources, and by recognising the climate emergency we can raise awareness among colleagues, patients and our local area.”

In March 2021, Sherwood’s Climate Action Team, recently recognised as finalists in the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards, created the Trust’s Green Plan; a series of targets and goals for the next five years to support the overall NHS net-zero goal, while educating its staff and local community on sustainability, the climate and the environment.

Dr Clements said: “By using our place in the community we can engage with everyone who use our services, and work with partner organisations to ensure our Trust can continue to provide outstanding care and remain a great place to work while using our planet’s resources responsibly.”

The Trust’s declaration has been announced during its second Hope Orchard Campaign: a community effort to offset carbon emissions by planting trees, while promoting the benefits that this has on the environment, wildlife, and humans.

Paul Robinson, Chief Executive said: “By declaring a climate emergency we are acknowledging the link between climate change and the health of our population.

“We’re proud of our achievements to date, for example:

  • We only use renewable electricity across our three sites
  • We are on target to cease our single-use plastic target in April 2022
  • We trialled meat-free Mondays, which colleagues really liked and we’ve decided to continue
  • We’re increasing our electric vehicle charging points for colleagues and visitors
  • We’re working closely with partners to support local and public travel.

“We have taken a positive stance towards climate action, recently launching Hope Orchard phase two where we’ve planted over 20 trees across our sites for colleagues and patients to enjoy in our green spaces. However, we have much more to do. Our Green Plan outlines our ambitions and sustainable targets for the near future so we can better look after our population.

“By acknowledging the climate emergency, we hope to be able to achieve our targets with the support and commitment from colleagues, patients, visitors, local partners and our community.”

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