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Health & Care Matters newsletter - November 2021

Welcome to our Health Newsletter focussing on Sustainability and timed to hit your inbox as we start to consider the outcomes from COP26.

24 November 2021

Welcome to our Health Newsletter focussing on Sustainability and timed to hit your inbox as we start to consider the outcomes from COP26. There has been some interesting language to describe the climate crisis which we face, not the least of which came from our own Prime Minister telling us that ‘the doomsday clock is still ticking, but we’ve got a bomb disposal team on site’. Not sure that is necessarily the analogy which I would have used, but it has been clear for a number of years that change in how we live and treat the planet is essential. Equally, every person and organisation needs to take action now.

In looking at Sustainability and responding to the climate crisis health organisations, including our excellent NHS, do need to look at what they can do going forward to address the challenge which the whole world faces. As the articles below set out, there are already many fantastic initiatives being implemented and the soon to be established Integrated Care Boards will be expected to play their part as well. Certainly no-one who has heard Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah talk about the tragic death of her daughter Ella, with air pollution being a material contributing factor in her death, can fail to understand the urgent need for action on air pollution and the tragic impact pollution can have on a child’s health. Several of our articles address the problem and how health bodies are working to reduce air pollution.

It is also apparent we need to think about what we build and how that can be part of the solution rather than adding to the problem. A number of the articles below set out work different organisations are undertaking to meet the expectation set out in a recent Government publication – Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener.

I do not think that gluing yourself to a road and stopping people getting to hospital is the right way to highlight the problems which as a world we face. However, it does show how desperate people are getting and the need for urgent action. I hope this thought-provoking set of articles, as COP26 has recently closed, inspires you to consider what you can do to respond to the crisis we are facing.

A Climate Crisis in Health – Reaching a sustainable NHS – a planning perspective

The NHS, as the UK’s largest employer, is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and is estimated to produce some 4% of UK carbon emissions nationally. As a result, the NHS sustainability agenda is much discussed. In the midst of intense pressure resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the publication of the Greener NHS Report ‘Delivering a Net Zero Health Service’ in October 2020 set the organisation the target to cut direct emissions to net zero carbon by 2040 and supplier emissions to net zero by 2045.

Read more >

The Net Zero Supplier Roadmap – recommendations to help achieve Net Zero

Delivering a Net Zero NHS references the NHS using its purchasing power to influence change. The Net Zero Supplier Roadmap approved by NHS England and Improvement expects all suppliers to publish a carbon reduction plan from April 2024, but embedding this requirement into contracts is no easy feat. If the NHS is to include a requirement on suppliers to reduce their carbon emissions and publish their carbon reduction plans, organisations will need to incorporate the relevant contract terms into their supplier contracts in clear contractual terms.

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In Conversation with... Peter Ware

Our In Conversation pieces give a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes legal work we undertake to support our clients to achieve their aims and ambitions and deliver what are, at times, ground-breaking and challenging projects.

We talk to Peter Ware, Partner, Head of our Government TMG and a member of our government and infrastructure team. He has worked with the Midlands Engine Partnership and other partner organisations across academia, industry and government over the last eighteen months to research, create and deliver the Ten-Point Plan for Green Growth. Now the fun starts helping the Midlands Engine to deliver this ambitious plan.

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Using building contracts to go ‘green’ in health buildings

With the COP26 summit which was held in Glasgow in November 2021 and the increasing global awareness of environmental concerns, the world of construction cannot escape the shift to operating in a more sustainable manner. This has never been more prevalent than it is in the health sector now. In October 2020 the Government unveiled its commitment to invest £3.7 billion in NHS Trusts for 40 new net zero carbon hospitals by 2030 and a further £850 million investment to upgrade 20 hospitals as part of its green initiative known as the ‘Health Infrastructure Plan’ (the Plan).

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A Greener NHS Estate; top tips for implementing your Green Plan

Many organisations, including NHS Trusts, have produced Green Plans. NHS Green Plans are full of great ideas for improving the efficiency of healthcare buildings in order to make them more sustainable and resilient in the fight against climate change. They focus on buildings and land, energy, utilities and waste, all of which directly impact upon the NHS Estate besides other areas which are recognised as areas where improvements are required.

This article takes key areas of focus within the NHS Estate and presents our top tips for implementing estates aspects of your Green Plan successfully from a legal perspective.

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The UK Hydrogen Strategy- Benefits for the Health Sector

With the Climate Change Act 2008 (through the Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order) placing a duty on senior ministers of the UK Government to ensure the UK achieves net zero by 2050, the development and implementation of new forms of low carbon renewable energy, which can assist the UK in achieving its ambitious goals, are ever more important.

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Five Mins With… Ann Cojeen

We take 5 minutes out with Ann Cojeen to discuss her career to date, how she starts her day and which mystery she would like to know the answer to.

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Gerard Hanratty


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