A carbon footprint study of a UK renal service, undertaken by Green Nephrology Fellow, Dr Andy Connor, and published in the Quarterly Journal of Medicinethis month, confirms the importance of tackling supply chain emissions, revealing that the procurement of goods and services accounts for 72% of the carbon impact of kidney care. Within procurement, the majority of emissions are attributable to pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and waste services.
The Green Nephrology programme is looking for an enthusiastic health professional with experience in kidney care. After a brilliant first year, the programme is seeking to build the national Green Nephrology Network and raise its profile in the renal community.
Donations are urgently needed to save the world’s first sustainable clinical specialty programme! Green Nephrology has been a fantastic success this year - but unless funds can be found, the programme will have to close down in September 2010.
The Green Nephrology team had a busy week at the joint Renal Association and British Renal Society meeting last week, culminating in what was (probably) the first session devoted entirely to sustainability at a national meeting of any medical specialty.
This year, 10:10 is bringing together thousands of individuals and organisations from across the country to work towards a common goal - a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions during 2010. The Green Nephrology programme is running its own 10:10 initiative and has produced a renal unit 10:10 action checklist.
Have you ever wondered how many miles patients drive to attend for the investigations you request for them? Or what impact this might have on the environment? I have. But nobody could tell me. So I've worked it!
The Campaign for Greener Healthcare is delighted to welcome Dr Andrew Connor to his new post as "Green Nephrology Fellow". Over the next year, Andrew will be exploring the environmental impacts of kidney care and working with NHS staff and patients to improve practice in kidney units.
On 25th February the Campaign for Greener Healthcare hosted the first Green Nephrology Summit. Sponsored by Baxter Healthcare the event provided a forum to share experience and discuss ideas on how to transform the renal clinical pathway.
SAP is a programme to support clinical teams in taking action for sustainability. Structured around two facilitated workshops, SAP helps front-line staff to learn about sustainable healthcare, focus in on their priorities and put together a green action plan. The action plan can then
Videos of presentations given at a meeting on the role of telemedicine in sustainable healthcare, hosted by the Nephrology Section, Royal Society of Medicine and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (Green Nephrology Programme) in London on 11 March 2011.
Green Nephrology Programme & Royal Society of Medicine
Using the Sustainable Action Planning tools, the team at the Renal Unit quickly identified carbon reduction opportunities, prioritised them, and moved into action. By the end of the first year they achieved:
Poster presented at the British Renal Society/ Renal Association 2001. Sustainability is an effective motivator for staff and patients to engage in service improvement, and has been described as the seventh dimension of quality in healthcare.
The renal unit at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire has been successfully running a twice-monthly telephone clinic to provide follow up to these patients since 2006. Annual carbon savings have been estimated at approximately 2000 kgCO2 equivalents.
When the Canterbury dialysis unit updated its water purification system with the installation of a new reverse osmosis plant in 1997, it was soon apparent that large volumes of reject water were being ‘lost to drain’.
The NHS has committed to reduce its carbon footprint but, aside from ensuring that legislative targets are reached, the benefits of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions are well documented. Yet the NHS faces increasing financial and service pressures; meaning that ‘green’ working is not always at the forefront of consideration. Many NHS organisations in England procure paper through the NHS Supply Chain Core Stationary list, which only contains paper produced from virgin (non-recycled) sources. As such, out of the 3.6 million reams of paper procured through NHS Supply Chain, only 29,000 were produced from recycled sources.
John Agar and Katherine Barraclough have produced a fantastic review looking at the impacts of environmental change on kidney health as well as the environmental damage caused by kidney services (especially dialysis) and strategies to mitigate this.
Sustainability has been recognised as a domain of quality in healthcare, and building it into quality improvement (QI) is a practical way to drive incremental change towards a more ethical, sustainable health system.