How do I get around?
25 July 2022
By RJ Heron
What patients think about more sustainable travel choices when in NHS care
In a joint project with Sussex and Surrey ICS’s we asked over 800 patients how much they supported the NHS taking action to reduce the carbon impact of healthcare related travel.
Overall people were largely positive with between 70 – 80% depending on age range in favour of promoting use of public transport, installing electric car charge points, promoting cycle and walking routes to healthcare cites and staff using electric bikes for community visits.
“[Electric Ambulances] I would just want to know that it was charged properly and it was someone’s job to make sure it’s charged properly” Sussex based survey respondent.
People were less supportive of less parking spaces at healthcare sites with only 7% of a focus group in favour.
What does that mean for healthcare providers?
The carbon footprint of travel and transport within healthcare is significant at around 15% of the total footprint; we must reduce this if we are to meet our Net Zero Carbon by 2040 target.
This means supporting our patients in making different choices when practical and possible to travel for their care; and demonstrating this in action with our staff choosing lower carbon transport options too. This is already happening so we just need to build on this progress over the coming years.
Where do we go from here?
Our Green Plan sets out our actions for reducing our carbon emissions in relation to travel and transport, read the Journeys 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.
In bringing the ‘Respecting resources’ and ‘Streamlined processes and pathways’ Sustainable Healthcare Principles to your work you can also help us create changes in how we deliver care to meet our Net Zero Carbon target in 2040.