woman at computer
Hayley Carmichael
Communications Manager
3 minute read

NHS Sussex working in partnership with Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust's Care Without Carbon team have successfully bid for funding worth £174,443 to develop projects that will not only improve patient care but will also help achieve lower carbon care in the future.

This work was commissioned and funded by SBRI Healthcare. SBRI Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative, in partnership with the Health Innovation Network and Greener NHS Programme.

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare is a national award-winning programme that seeks to accelerates innovations in the NHS and the wider health and social care system. To date the SBRI programme has funded over 300 projects with over £140 million.

You can find out more about SBRI on their website.

Tackling the carbon footprint of healthcare

We know that our changing climate is negatively impacting on our health with things like heatwaves and flooding taking a toll on our physical and mental wellbeing. Air pollution too has many links to conditions such as cancer, respiratory diseases and dementia.

Reducing the pollution, carbon emissions and waste from the care we provide directly supports the health of our communities.

That is why the NHS is the first healthcare provider globally to commit to achieving Net Zero Carbon.

Embracing innovation

Across Sussex and beyond into the wider NHS, we are seeing some amazing innovations to care to reduce the carbon impact, and get us close to Net Zero.

In support of new ways of working, we sought, and succeeded in winning funding for two projects that will add to our progress towards greener care.

The Green Impact Assessment Tool empowers healthcare staff to make sustainable decisions; it highlights opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of a project, policy or service.

This funding will enable us to develop a digital version that can be rolled out more widely.


The tool, which will include a reporting dashboard, will enable those using it to understand, and therefore minimise, a range of environmental impacts.

This will help to embed sustainable healthcare principles in project work and service innovations and broaden understanding of sustainable healthcare. It will also provide identifiable links to everyday work and facilitates a common language around sustainability and net zero transformation.

Our second project sees the development of a virtual neurorehabilitation care model that addresses carbon hotspots and aims to realise a range of sustainability benefits: including reduced air pollution, climate adaptation and health equity.

woman at computer

The project includes a six-month pilot of the use of video appointments in neurorehabilitation services. As well as training clinicians in digital communication skills, it will measure and evaluate the wider environmental benefits of this care pathway and seek to identify further opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint.

Findings will inform guidance for other clinical services to support wider adoption of this model of care.

We are very excited about these projects, and will provide updates on progress as the work develops.