The Less waste, more health report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) explains how health professionals can reduce waste and improve sustainability.

In England, there are 165 hospital trusts with a combined expenditure of over £4.6 billion per annum on medical supplies and other consumables. What we use and how we dispose of it has an impact not only on the finances of the NHS but the environment and population health.

Less waste, more health features a range of case studies and 12 recommendations setting out how everyone from individual to trust level can:

  • positively influence the health of patients
  • aid financial savings
  • shape the impact of the NHS on the environment.

Reducing the NHS carbon footprint

The NHS has made a commitment in line with the 2008 Climate Change Act to reduce carbon emissions by 80%. The report finds that significant effort will be required to ensure current emissions are reduced, as well as countering rising emissions associated with increasing demand on the NHS. This report illustrates the financial and environmental co-benefits of addressing the issue of waste in the NHS.

The RCP’s report argues that the NHS has a duty to improve efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, ensuring that healthcare today doesn’t compromise health and healthcare availability in the future. The report encourages all NHS staff to become resource advocates, procuring, using and disposing of all resources in the most efficient way

Download the report here.