From November 2010, I will take over from Andy Connor as the next Green Nephrology Fellow, I am both excited by the tremendous developments that have occurred in little over a year and slightly daunted at the prospect of taking on the mantle of "Fellow".
Children from Hippo and Victoria wards at Great Ormond Street Hospital have created an almost life-size polar bear from discarded haemodialysis packaging with the help of artist Darcy Turner. The project coincides with other initiatives across the UK, as renal departments challenge medical equipment manufacturers to reduce waste and increase recycling opportunities.
The conversation in green nephrology has changed. Though water reclamation, recycling and energy saving are still important, a fly on the wall at last week’s Green Nephrology Summit would have heard just as much about “telephone clinics”, “RenalPatientView*”, “patient self-care”, “shared decision-making”…
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 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 Green Stars Initiative provides a mechanism by which renal teams can demonstrate their achievements against a set of national criteria. There is more information about the scheme on the link above.
A short video introducing the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare's work in supporting clinical specialties to improve sustainability. This video focuses on initiatives in kidney care, where the approach was first pioneered.