Respiratory care has some of the biggest problems (inhalers) and many good solutions for sustainable healthcare.

Natural resources footprint for NHS and social care

This is the most recent carbon/natural resources footprint of health and social care in England, based on 2017 data. Of note, the greenhouse gas emissions from metered dose inhalers are estimated at 0.85 Mt CO2e, which is around 3.2% of total emissions for the sector.

Sustainable Development Unit, NHS England & Public Health England
September, 2018

RCP video on NHS environmental impact

Short animation to raise awareness of the NHS contribution to environmental issues such as climate change and air pollution, and encourage health professionals to look for environmentally friendly ways to practise.

Royal College of Physicians
September, 2018

Making Sense of Social Prescription

The University of Westminster has published an excellent explanatory document on social prescription. It's a fantastic end to end resource with explanations of terminology, structures, different types of social prescription, and referral examples.

August, 2017

The Impact of Paper Procurement in the NHS.

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.

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Green Inhaler website

This patient- and clinician-facing website gives guidance on choosing inhalers with lower environmental impact - something which is now included in the BTS asthma guidelines.

Dr Alex Wilkinson
September, 2019

New BTS asthma guidelines encourage use of low-GWP inhalers

Section 8.6 of the new BTS/SIGN Guideline for the management of asthma highlights the environmental impact of metered dose inhalers (pMDI) and recommends that inhalers with low global-warming potential (GWP) should be used when likely to be equally effective.

British Thoracic Society
July, 2019

Asthma UK inhaler videos

Are you confident in teaching patients how to use their inhalers? The first step in improving environmental sustainability of inhaler use is to ensure that people use the correct technique to get the drug to where it is needed. 

Asthma UK
July, 2019

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