Should the NHS declare a Climate Emergency?

Angela Wilson's picture

Dear All,

It is NHS Sustainability day today.

I would be grateful if you could comment on the following letter that has been sent to the Department of Health today asking for the NHS to declare a climate emergency:

Increasing evidence suggests that we need to act quickly to protect Planetary Health. Should we, as primary care workers promote this campaign in our workplace and how can we do this?

Thanks for considering the question.

Angela Wilson, GP, Oxfordshire



NHS declare a climate emergency?

Jennifer Bell's picture

Yes, the NHS should declare a climate emergency.  NHS policy makers and all staff must be doing all we can to work in more sustainable ways and reduce carbon emissions caused by the NHS and related organisations such as pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The time to act is now and there's no time to waste.

I work at Penrith Hospital and am a member of Extinction Rebellion.  Our team tries to avoid single use plastic and recycles as much as possible.  I am looking into purchasing an electric bicycle to use for all local work-related journeys.

Let me know of any good ideas that could help small community hospital reduce it's carbon footprint.

Thanks and best wishes,

Jennifer Bell



A possible toolkit for community healthcare providers

Angela Wilson's picture

Jennifer - Thanks for your comment on the post I made. I also have linked up with Extinction Rebellion in the hope that it gets change moving faster.

You may already know about this scheme:

They have a list of environmentally friendly practices you could look at implementing at your work. They have a toolkit which lists the many options available. It was designed for General Practice but I imagine that a lot could be relevant to your situation.


Doctors for Extinction Rebellion?

Frances Mortimer's picture

Thanks for highlighting the NHS Climate Emergency campaign, Angela. I see that some doctors are now officially declaring support for Extinction Rebellion too: . What do people think about this?



Linking doctors up with XR actions

Angela Wilson's picture

Frances, thanks for sharing this. I met doctors at the XR protests this week and have linked up with others on social media. I will share this with them. There seems to be a very rapidly growing group of clinicians and other NHS workers that want the NHS to become environmentally sustainable as a matter of urgency. Many feel the need to lead by example in their lifestyle choices too. 


Doctors joining XR

Jennifer Bell's picture

Many people have a natural respect for doctors and as such, they can have increased influence.  It's very important that doctors join XR and it would be absurd for them not to. Science and nature continues to shout CLIMATE EMERGENCY at us and we must act and act now.


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