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How do I access my care?

What patients think about digitally based NHS care options

Cartoon video conference

Our research

In a joint project with Sussex and Surrey ICS’s we asked over 800 patients how much they supported the NHS to reduce the carbon impact produced by how we deliver healthcare, specifically more digital options.

The majority of the public (at least 59% in over 65’s) supported implementing more digitally based options such as virtual wards, check up’s and GP appointments.

People were less supportive of virtual based GP appointments, citing the relationship that is cultivated when meeting face to face.

“[Virtual GP Appointments] You need to consider the emotional and the face-to-face relationship, you build a relationship with a Doctor, you can’t do that on Zoom. I am sure this is the direction we are going in and I’m not too happy about it” Surrey based survey participant

What does this mean for healthcare providers?

Patient and visitor transport within healthcare produces a carbon footprint of approximately 6% of all carbon emissions within the NHS. This can be addressed with the work that is being done in digital innovation whilst also reducing carbon footprints.

This means offering sustainable digital based alternatives to patients so that they can effectively choose how their healthcare is delivered in the most accessible format to them. In some areas this is already in progress, we need to support its implementation in all clinically appropriate areas.

Where do we go from here?

Our Green Plan sets out our actions for reducing our carbon emissions in relation to digital healthcare, read the Digital Priorities section to find out how. We’ll also be working at ICS level to partner with key stakeholders to ensure local travel networks support lower carbon travel to our sites.