On 11 July, the Chief Scientific Adviser held an emergency briefing for MPs to present the latest evidence on global warming and CO2 in the atmosphere. He provided evidence of the increasing likelihood of extreme weather events and told the MPs attending: “There is no way we can pretend it isn’t happening.” Just over a week later, people across the UK experienced it happening first hand as 40C was exceeded for the first time and fire services were stretched as they tackled wildfires in London.

At the same time, the various stages, debates and voting in the Conservative Party leadership contest, which will decide on the next Prime Minister, continued with little emphasis being placed on the urgent action that the hopeful new leaders will take to mitigate and adapt to climate change, with some candidates reluctant or unwilling to commit to the existing net zero strategy, which is itself in urgent need of attention.

The Climate Change Committee has warned the current strategy will not deliver the policies it needs to reach the UK’s net zero targets. And a Supreme Court ruling this week found the strategy to be inadequate and unlawful with proposals too vague and lacking detail about how they will be delivered. The Joint Committee on National Security Strategy has raised concerns of a lack of responsibility at the centre of government in adapting to climate change.

Rather than shy away from addressing climate change, the next Prime Minister needs to show leadership and deliver the urgent action that is needed to protect our planet and our people.


News

NHS embeds net zero in legislation

NHS England has become the first health system to embed net zero into legislation, as the new Health and Care Act came into force on 1 July 2022. The Health and Care Act of 2022 recognises that the response to climate change is good for the health of the public, and places new requirements on all NHS Trusts, Foundation Trusts, and Integrated Care Boards to meet net zero and tackle air pollution. It grants new statutory guidance powers to NHS England to support the fulfilment of these new duties, ensuring every Trust and ICB has its own localised Green Plan and Board-Level lead. Find out more about what this news means for the NHS here

Health professionals stage protest at JP Morgan

As the UK declared a national heat emergency red alert, six health professionals from Doctors for XR staged a protest at JP Morgan in Canary Wharf demanding action on banks to stop funding fossil fuels. The International Energy Agency has said that new oil, gas or coal investment must end if the world is to reach net zero by 2050. The doctors staging the protest said they had a duty to their patients to do what they could to act to stop the harm. More details here


Have your say

Add your signature: Health professionals call for Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

The international scientific consensus is clear: to protect the health and lives of present and future generations, we need a rapid, equitable phase out of fossil fuels globally. We are working with the Global Climate and Health Alliance and others to call on governments around the world to develop and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, laying out a legally binding global plan to:

  1. End expansion of any new fossil fuel infrastructure and production
  2. Phase out existing production and use of fossil fuels in a fair and equitable manner
  3. Fast-track real solutions and ensure a just transition

Please add your support by signing the letter – both organisational and individual signatures are welcome. The voice of health professionals in calling for phase of fossil fuels to protect lives is critical so please do all you can to promote the letter among your networks and colleagues to increase the number of signatories.

Sign the letter here: https://fossilfueltreaty.org/health-letter

CLOSING MONDAY 25 JULY: Sustainable diets survey of health professionals

The Faculty for Public Health UK and Eating Better are conducting a survey to gather information about health organisations’ positions and practices related to sustainable diets. The survey contains questions about health organisations, their priorities and policies, and ways in which they could be supported to incorporate policies or positions related to sustainable diets. The survey should take no longer than ten minutes, and is entirely voluntary. We hope to be able to share and discuss the results of the survey at one of our lunchtime In Conversation sessions later in the year.

Please visit the survey before Monday 25 July.  The team are also seeking individuals who might be interested in taking part in a more detailed interview with Kristin Bash, Chair of the Food Special Interest Group at the Faculty of Public Health. If you are able to do this, please email k.bash@sheffield.ac.uk

UKHACC Website survey (only takes a minute!)

We’re going to refresh our website and need your help. We’d like to know what you want and expect to see on our site so that we can ensure the improvements we make will work for you. Please tell us what you think via this very short (one minute) survey.


Get involved

Ride For Their Lives

Ride for their Lives (RTFL) 2022 is seeking groups of healthcare providers to organise events in the run up to COP27. Each group should actively travel from one healthcare setting to another. Most events will involve cycling, but walking, running and even paddling are also welcome. We want to make it as simple as possible for people to take part which is why we are suggesting your event fits neatly into one day. But the journey can be as short or long as you like.

Before, during and after the day you are encouraged to communicate your message to everyone you meet, including the public, colleagues and decision-makers. At the end, we would like you to record a video or audio discussion about what you have learned and the actions you will now take.

Highlights of the discussions will appear on our Inspiration Hub and in a narrative report to capture the learning from RTFL2022. Find out more here.

Walk2COP27

We are working with Walk2COP27 in the run-up to COP27. Its purpose is to build mass participation and engagement by bringing people together, informing and educating, solidarity, and creating connections.

Walk2COP27 is based around a virtual journey from Glasgow (host city for COP26) to Sharm El-Sheikh (host city for COP27). There are 12 countries between Scotland and Egypt hosting a hybrid or virtual Townhall meeting that showcases the way climate change is impacting that location and the solutions that are being deployed. The launch event town hall will take place in Glasgow on 22 September at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Organisations, teams and individuals can participate by tracking their kilometres travelled on an app in their own locations. Trees will be planted by the Jane Goodall Institute for kilometres travelled (walked / run / cycled or travelled in a wheelchair). Participants can share their climate-related projects, and learn from others via the planned Townhall meetings, a participants’ forum on Clubhouse, and social media. Register your interest here

Nurses Climate Challenge

As one of the most trusted professions (and making up more than 50% of the healthcare workforce worldwide), nurses play a vital role in education healthcare professionals about climate change. The Nurses Climate Challenge has been launched in Europe to mobilise nurses to educate health professionals on the impacts of climate change on human health. By providing resources and networking opportunities, the goal is to create a movement of health professionals across Europe who want to take action to protect the health of their patients and communities from the worst impacts of climate change. Register to be a Nurse Climate Champion here:  https://eur.nursesclimatechallenge.org/


Opportunities

Healthier Futures Action Fund

The new Healthier Futures Action Fund from the Greener NHS is now open for applications. The fund aims to support individuals and teams within NHS England organisations to kick-start innovative initiatives or ideas that will improve health and patient care, reduce inequalities, and deliver value, while supporting a more sustainable health service.

The Healthier Futures Action Fund aims to support even more individuals and teams across the NHS to get involved, with the backing of their NHS organisation, through the provision of grants of up to £15,000 for those who can successfully demonstrate that their initiative improves patient care or health outcomes, while supporting a more sustainable health service.

Applications are open to all NHS England organisations and employees, including Primary Care Networks, GP practices and health and social care providers, until 19 August 2022. Partnership applications with other public and third sector organisations will be considered. Further details can be found on the NHS Futures page

Grant funding: Biological vulnerability to extreme heat in maternal and child health

Wellcome Funded award to fund research teams working to advance understanding of the biological vulnerability to extreme heat in the content of maternal and child health. The funding is intended to cover a leading research programme with up to 2million available per award over a 3-5 year period. The deadline for applications is 8 August 2022.  Further details here

Call for abstracts: North South Public Health Conference – Healthy Planet, Healthy People

The Institute of Public Health, Public Health Agency, Ulster University, Queen’s University Belfast, and University College Cork are hosting an online public health conference on 30 November 2022. The overarching theme of this one-day conference will be the relationship between climate change and health on the island of Ireland. In addition to keynote plenary sessions, the conference will also provide an opportunity to showcase the latest innovations, research and practice in parallel sessions.

The organisers are seeking abstract submissions from local professionals, practitioners and researchers on work that contributes to the planetary health agenda. Submissions are welcome from across a range of disciplines, from public health and health systems to the environment, food, infrastructure and transport among others. Abstracts for presentations, short oral presentations or digital posters will be considered.

Closing date for submissions: 17.00 Friday 16 September 2022 Find out more here


Events

Building on the Healthy Climate Prescription

This series of webinars by the Global Climate and Health Alliance build on the Healthy Climate Prescription and offer context about the UNFCCC processes. Spanish language interpretation will be available for this webinar series:

Embedding sustainability in governance, structure and culture

12.00-13.30, Wednesday 24 August 2022 (online)

The third of the UKHACC In Conversation Lunchtime Sessions which will focus on strategies for embedding sustainability in governance, structure and culture with examples and case studies.

  • Governance and climate change: Richard Smith – Chair, UK Health Alliance on Climate Change
  • Embedding sustainability in governance and culture: Dr Adrian James – President, Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • An action plan for tackling climate change: Dr Liz Marder – Treasurer, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and question and answer session on how organisations can make the changes needed to embed sustainability in organisational culture, the challenges and opportunities. Participants will be encouraged to direct questions and get involved to ensure an engaging and informative discussion on actions that members of UKHACC can take forward after the session. Click here to register

Sustainability in Pharma & Healthcare Congress

8-9 September 2022 | London

Designed to explore the key challenges facing the development and implementation of sustainable practices throughout the industry, the programme will facilitate solution-oriented discussion and collaboration to advance sustainability practices. Topics include challenges for introducing a sustainable supply chain and procurement process, the role of pharma and healthcare in the context of the COP27 meeting, as well as ways to improve sustainability in patient care pathways. Find out more here

Leading sustainability in health and social care

The Royal College of Nursing has launched a UK-wide programme designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to plan, lead and deliver healthcare which is akin to the principles of sustainability. Participants are required to commit a total of 200 hours of study time during the programme including work-based activities, online learning, live lectures, seminars and workshops, additional reading and six hours of one-to-one coaching. One completion, participants will receive an RCN certificate. Further details are available here


New resources

Public Health Wales ‘Resources for Sustainable Healthcare’

Public Health Wales has launched a new, free, e-catalogue to help teams and individuals working in the public sector, to reduce their impact on the environment and climate change, and encourage sustainable behaviour in both their work and home life. All public bodies in Wales have a duty to work towards the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations Act, which are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and this new resource clearly explains the links between each publication and the goals.

The e-catalogue is part of ongoing work by the Health and Sustainability Hub at public Health Wales and gives a short summary and explanation of resources which support and encourage individuals, teams and organisations to take action to improve ways of working and living and look after the health and well-being of people and planet. The aim is to provide a useful, quick summary so that people can decide what they want to read for interest and to support them with taking practical actions. Some of the resources identified are aimed at individual or team level, some at organisation, national, or international policy level. There are useful links to other information, organisations and resources. The Resource for Sustainable Healthcare catalogue can be accessed here.

Action for Clean Air | ICS Framework

Global Action plan has developed an Integrated Care Service (ICS) Clean Air Framework. The free tool has been designed to enabled ICS leaders to take action to secure clean air and a healthier future for their region. The framework can be used to develop a stand-alone Clean Air Action Plan, or to integrate and prioritise clean air actions in a Green Plan. The framework links to the mandated requirements of Green Plans, NHS Standard Contract and ‘Delivering a Net Zero NHS’ report and builds on from GAP’s Clean Air Hospital Framework, to tackle the sources and impacts of air pollution at a systems level. Find out more and request a copy of the ICS framework here


Reports, articles and videos

We’ve pulled together a list of recent reports, articles and videos that are worth reading, watching and sharing.

Reflecting on our In Conversation session on ‘Health inequalities, climate justice and the climate crises’, UKHACC Chair Richard Smith asks how to best achieve a better and sustainable world?

On 11 July, the Chief Scientific Adviser delivered an emergency briefing on climate change to MPs. A recording of the briefing and speaker presentations can be accessed here. Only about 10% of MPs attended, if yours didn’t you might want to share the recording with them to make sure they don’t miss hearing this important information.

The Climate Change Committee report says the government is failing to deliver the policies needed to reach the UK’s net zero targets, warning that the current strategy will not deliver

This video by Global Action Plan asks: We care about clean air. Do you? It provides information on the public health implications of air pollution and how health professionals are taking steps to tackle air pollution at a systems level so that every Integrated Care System can become a clean air champion.

UKHACC, Lancet Countdown and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have warned that extreme heat will be an increasing threat to health without a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and the implementation of adequate heatwave and adaptation measures.

The UK Government’s Food Strategy was launched last month. In this commentary we say it has failed to deliver on recommendations to shift diets away from greenhouse gas intensive meat and dairy production.


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If you’ve got information about resources, campaigns, or events you would like to be included in the next edition, please send them to elaine.mulcahy@ukhealthalliance.org . The next bulletin will be published on 19 August 2022.