Sustainability SIG

Eco SAM Lead Bio

Vicky Price (President Elect) is currently the lead for this growing group but freely admits that she has the least expertise and is so grateful to the incredible team for their help and support in setting up this important group!

 

We started less than a year ago and are really keen to welcome new members, ideas and enthusiasm! Do let us know if you want to join the group.

Eco SAM Policy Statement

SAM Eco - Green

Climate change is the greatest threat to global public health this century. Healthcare’s climate footprint has increased from 4.4% of net global emissions in 2014 to 5.2% in 2019[1]. As healthcare professionals, we can reduce the environmental impact of our work and advocate for environmentally sustainable changes to the wider healthcare system.

In 2022, the NHS became the first health system to embed net zero into legislation through the Health and Care Act 2022. The following policy documents highlight some of UK healthcare systems’ commitment in reducing their environmental impacts:

  • *England - Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service, 2020[2];
  • Wales - NHS Wales Decarbonisation Strategic Delivery Plan, 2021[3];
  • Scotland - NHS Scotland climate emergency and sustainability strategy: 2022-2026[4]

*Staff working in England should review their hospital’s Green Plans and contribute to their Trust’s strategic delivery of net zero aligned to local ICS commitments.

Understanding how Acute Medicine department can mitigate their environmental impacts while maintaining high quality standards of patient care within the current setting of financial and operational pressures is a challenge. SAM joins multiple other healthcare organisations in rising to this challenge to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities whilst recognising that environmental, social, and economic sustainability are vital for achieving our mission and creating a healthier future.

With this in mind, SAM has made the following recommendations following the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare’s 4 principles of low carbon healthcare service delivery

[1] Momentum builds for health-care climate action - The Lancet

[2] Greener NHS » Delivering a net zero NHS (england.nhs.uk)

[3] NHS Wales decarbonisation strategic delivery plan | GOV.WALES

[4] Supporting documents - NHS Scotland climate emergency and sustainability strategy: 2022-2026 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Top 5 sustainable tips in Acute Medicine

Climate change is an important challenge facing us all and in our role as healthcare professionals this is no different.

SAM are looking at ways of reducing their carbon footprint and also ways that we as healthcare professionals can in our day to day work.

Conferences and meetings

We will work with our conference team to reduce the impact where we can.

  • Offering virtual attendance and evening webinars
  • More plant based food options and looking to remove red meat
  • Ensure that we liaise with conference venues regarding use of single use plastics and their carbon foot print
  • Looking at locations chosen in terms of accessibility/ ease of use of public transport

SAM strategy

To look at the following

  • A member of council who is nominally the climate change lead
  • Education on climate change /sustainability in healthcare
    • Podcast
    • Presentations at conferences regularly (already presented at SAMLondon)
    • Website information with links
    • A SAM policy

Changes within Healthcare specific to Acute Medicine

A lot of organisations are looking at impact specifically linked to their specialty, such as gastro looking at endoscopy, Anaesthetics looking at impact of anaesthetic agents etc.

In terms of acute medicine we will explore ways that we can improve our carbon footprint within acute medicine

We will ask our members for suggestions in our newsletter / social media and then share ideas

How to join the SIG

If you wish to join this subgroup - please email SIG lead using the following form

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.

Sustainability QI Competition

Competition

Interested in making a sustainable change to your practice within Acute Medicine?

Would you like to win £1000?

 

If the answer to both of these is YES, then enter our EcoSAM Sustainable QI Project.

The QI project should focus on environmental sustainability issues in Acute Medicine, how this was addressed and improved.

Details

  • Open May 2024
  • Closing date March 2025.
  • The winners will present at SAMCambridge conference
  • Project application template below to be used

Completed template submissions should be emailed to:

administrator@acutemedicine.org.uk

Sustainability CPD Resources

One of the aims of EcoSAM is to provide resources for SAM members to widen the breadth of their knowledge of sustainable healthcare, and even start a project of their own.

Sustainable healthcare is a growing topic with a large resource pool available. It can be tricky to know where to start!

Below are highlighted four resources which are freely available, and provide a good starting point on the road to providing sustainable healthcare.

You can use the Sustainability in Quality Improvement (SusQI) organisation’s handy step-by-step guide to develop a sustainability focused project of your own. It includes project development templates and planners, all to help you get started.

https://www.susqi.org/step-by-step-guide

Useful Links

NHSE: Greener NHS

RCP view on healthcare sustainability and climate change

RPS: Greener Pharmacy Guides

Pharma Pollution Hub

BMJ: Sustainable practice: what can I do?

BMJ: Sustainable practice: Prescribing oral over intravenous medications