Climate change is now viewed as one of the most serious threats to the continued health and wellbeing of millions of people worldwide. The worst aspects of climate change will inevitably impact greatest on those within society who are most vulnerable and least able to cope. It is therefore vital that action is taken at all levels to implement effective strategies not only to reduce carbon emissions, but also apply the broader principles of sustainable development.
It is now six years since we published our Carbon Management Plan for the Trust. In that time our sustainability journey has progressed from an initial carbon-focused strategy to a more holistic sustainable development model. Caring for our patients in a sustainable manner and being aware of the social impacts of our actions will help achieve the goals of caring for the environment, reducing long term expenditure and building a supportive base
in the society in which we operate. This Green Plan celebrates our progress to-date and outline our plans for the next five years.
North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (NEAS) operates across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Darlington and Teesside. We provide an Unscheduled Care Service to respond to emergency calls, and a Scheduled Care service which provides pre-planned non-emergency transport for patients in the region. The Trust covers an area of approximately 3,230 square miles and employs more than 2,500 staff, serving a population of 2.7 million.
Since 2013 we have delivered the NHS111 service for the region to provide urgent medical help and advice, and we have been able to demonstrate how this service can run alongside the 999 service to provide a seamless access point for patients. The Scheduled and Unscheduled Care along with 111 services are supported by the Trust’s 3 Emergency Operations Centres which manage in excess of 1.5 million calls per annum.
All NHS provider organisations like us are required to have a Board Approved Green Plan under the standard contract from Commissioners. Green Plans are considered a measure of a ‘well led organisation’ and form a key part of sustainable healthcare delivery, ensuring that services provided today are fit for purpose in the future. NEAS acknowledges that as a major provider of services to the community, our activities and operations will inevitably have an impact on the environment in which we serve.
This Green Plan outlines projects and activities which will evidence continual improvement in sustainability performance throughout the Trust, covering areas such as staff awareness and engagement, through to projects aimed specifically at reducing the carbon emissions associated with our service delivery, how we transport our patients and operating our estate. The Green Plan will detail how the Trust understands, commits to, and will meet its responsibilities in relation to the sustainability agenda. This Green Plan is an update of our previous Carbon Management Plan which was approved by the Board in 2015. This plan will be accompanied by a Sustainability Action Plan.
The progressof which will be reported to the Board via the Environmental Compliance & Sustainability Group on an annual basis. The action plan is intended to be constantly changing to reflect the continual improvement that is made. An ever-changing action plan will evidence that the Trust is environmentally responsible, contributes to reducing the impact of climate change and increases the protection of natural resources.