In response to today’s NHS England announcement, UK Health Alliance on Climate Change Director, Laurie Laybourn-Langton, said:
“The UK Health Alliance on Climate change welcomes the plans outlined in today’s long term plan for NHS England, placing emphases on preventative and community healthcare to reduce the burden on our hospitals.
“With climate change and air pollution presenting enormous challenges to healthcare, both here and globally, we are also particularly pleased to see a renewed commitment by NHS England to acting on air pollution.
“About 3.5% of all road traffic in England each year is NHS-related, creating air pollution that costs the economy around £345 million in medical and social care costs, lost productivity and other expenses. Its plans to reduce fleet air pollutant emissions and to fully phase out primary heating from coal and oil fuel on all NHS England sites are welcomed.
“However, more needs to be done to prepare the UK population for the negative health impacts of extreme weather, particularly heatwaves, and the government needs to provide more support to the NHS for decarbonisation, helping it accelerate its world-leading emissions reductions.”