30th January 2020

Image: NHS Staff urged to help tackle climate changeIn a recent BBC news report, there have been calls for the NHS to help cut carbon emissions to net zero and reduce air pollution. The report cites things like driving to work less, using reusable cups and bottles as activities staff could do to help.

According to NHS England, it is estimated that the health and care system in England is responsible for 4-5% of the country’s carbon footprint, with the NHS being the main contributor, as the UK’s biggest employer.

But, what else could the NHS do to reduce its environmental impact? One suggestion could be to further advance and embrace digitalisation. New technologies could help by allowing patients and staff to travel less, with services and advice provided digitally. Similarly, is there a way technology could support quicker and more effective diagnosis and reduce the number of appointments that patients need to find out what is wrong with them?

What could leaders and managers do to reduce their organisations environmental impact? Digital tools such as online training and management could mean staff reduce travel time further by limiting the need for face to face training.

Particularly when refresher courses, that could be easily and readily managed through a learning management system, with regular online updates to prompt staff as and when required.

The report continues… “It is estimated some 6.7 billion road miles each year are from patients and their visitors travelling to and from the NHS.”

Face-to-face training, whilst incredibly important for several areas, could be not only cost and time prohibitive, but also increase carbon emissions, particularly for staff working for NHS Trusts in rural areas, where staff and services are widespread across counties.

Embracing cloud-based digital systems that speed up unnecessary admin time could also reduce consumption of paper and printing. By making use of advanced technologies to manage the workforce, Trusts can embed a culture of cost-saving, timesaving and actively reduce the daily impact on climate change.

Rostering and online learning systems like Realtime Rostering and LearnSpace, developed by Skills for Health could support your long-term workforce management ambitions, and go some way to help reduce waste and consumption across the health and care system.

To find out more about embracing digital solutions for your organisation, get in touch today.