Health Outcomes Travel Tool

The SDU are developing two tools that will quantify the health impacts from travel and transport related to the NHS, public health and social care sector. 

  1. The first tool – that is due to be available in Spring - will enable users to input their organisation’s transport and travel information and receive details of what that means in terms of health of people (as a result of air pollution and road trauma) and the subsequent financial costs to the NHS and wider care sector. 
  2. In addition a second tool is being designed to enable organisations to work with their suppliers of products or services to model the environmental impacts. 

Travel and transport linked to NHS services generates a significant share of UK traffic, currently estimated at around 5%, producing air pollution, accidents and noise. Air pollution is widely recognised as being a significant burden on health.  A recent report from the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Paediatrics and Child Health estimated that its impact on mortality is equivalent to 40,000 deaths a year in the UK, in addition to numerous effects on respiratory and cardiovascular health.  An assessment of the impact of travel and transport on health through air pollution is needed, along with analysis of other important traffic related impacts from accidents and noise.

Information on traffic generated by the NHS is now being collated, separating out demand for (e.g.) business travel by NHS staff, patient and visitor travel, ambulance travel, freight services and so on.  A number of organisations have come forward to participate in the testing of the impact assessment tool that is under development. 

This project is being delivered on behalf of the SDU by Mike Holland PhD and Dr Joseph Spadaro to carry out this work.  Both are freelance consultants in air quality and sustainability assessment more generally, and were, with Professor Air Rabl, joint authors of ‘How Much is Clean Air Worth’, published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.  Their clients include Defra, the UK’s Climate Change Committee, the European Commission, OECD and World Health Organization.  They have played a central role since 1990 in the development of methods for quantification and monetisation of the health and other effects of pollution at a European scale, and economic assessment of options for pollution controls.  

Dr Mike Holland is a member of the government Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) that provides independent advice to government departments and agencies on how air pollution impacts on health.

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