NHS Long Term Plan

On Monday 7th January 2019, the NHS published the first ever long-term plan, in response to DHSC's commitment for additional annual funding. The plan includes the NHS' commitments towards sustainability.

  • The NHS has restated its commitment to the carbon targets in the UK government Climate Change Act (2008), reducing carbon emissions (on a 1990 baseline) by:
    • 34% by 2020
    • 51% by 2025
    • This work will include projects to reduce the carbon footprint of inhalers and anaesthetics
  • The NHS is committed to improving air quality by:
    • Cutting business mileage by 20% by 2023/24
    • Ensuring that at least 90% of the NHS fleet uses low-emissions engines (including 25% ultra-low emissions) by 2028
    • Phasing out primary heating from coal and oil fuel in NHS sites
  • The NHS will ensure that all trusts adhere to best practice efficiency standards and adoption of new innovations to reduce waste, water and carbon, in addition to reducing single-use plastics
  • The plan also outlines the idea of the NHS as an 'anchor institution', which is an important concept to promote an understanding of the NHS' contribution to the local economy, society and environment
  • It includes dedicated support to spread social prescribing across the country, another key idea that complements sustainability and takes advantage of its benefits, e.g. through prescribing therapies that take place outside
  • It specifically mentions working alongside local charities, social enterprises and community interest companies, all of which are key contributors to resilient and strong local communities and economies
  • The idea of prevention is threaded throughout the plan, e.g. by promoting earlier detection of illness. Preventing illnesses from happening in the first place is the best possible way for the NHS to become the most sustainable health and care system it can be.

Read the full plan here.

Take a look at the SDU's business plan to see how we are already planning for and working towards these targets. 

We will continue to keep you updated with what these changes mean in practice - keep an eye on our bulletins. Over the next months we expect to develop more detailed implementation plans and would welcome any ideas you have.