NHS organisations in Greater Manchester have declared a “climate emergency,” committing to far-ranging action to slash carbon emissions and avert predicted illness and disease.
It makes the city region the first “integrated care system”– NHS bodies and council social care working together – in the country to declare a climate emergency.
The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) will now develop and agree a plan by the end of the year that will show how the NHS will meet its obligations under the Climate Change Act to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
It will also support the pledges the partnership has made to fulfil the GM Five-Year Plan for the Environment, which has set out the bold ambition for the area to be one of the globe’s healthiest, cleanest and greenest city-regions and to be carbon neutral by 2038.
The HSCP plan will build on existing work to cut the harmful impact of NHS activity on the environment.
This includes cutting carbon emissions; improving air quality; using buildings more efficiently; reducing and managing waste better and re-using or recycling; and using the natural environment for good health and recovery.
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust and its Bolton equivalent have between them cut their annual carbon emissions by more than 11,000 tonnes and saved more than £1.7m a year on energy use through installation of combined heat and power systems and LED lighting upgrades.
Partnership chair Lord Smith said: “We are well positioned in Greater Manchester to make a real impact because of devolution and the joined up policies we have under the Mayor of Greater Manchester for the NHS, councils and local transport.
“This means we can have an impact more quickly, for example by changing the products we buy across multiple NHS trusts, implementing new ways of using products such as medical gases and improving transport to and from NHS sites.