Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust has launched a Green Plan which includes a focus on efforts to use digital transformation to drive its commitment to environmental issues.
The Green Plan was revealed on Earth Day (April 22) and outlines the trust’s initiatives that have already been put in place, as well as proposed Green Plan actions.
One of the key areas that is included is digital transformation and the trust says it has “made significant progress” in the use of technology but it also acknowledges that it must continue to adopt and use new methods to maintain the provision of outstanding care.
Its digital strategy was released in 2019 and included offering digital consultations through messaging, telephone or video services, to minimise travel and carbon emissions.
Hertfordshire Partnership University also launched Interactive Care Plans and Records to maximise the use of resources so patients can access the care they need promptly. In addition it made investments in software to reduce the volume of paperwork, and to support remote working.
The Green Plan further builds on this work that has already been done. The trust’s Green Plan actions include a push to continue its efforts in using electronic communications wherever possible in place of paper methods. It will also work to instill best practice for internal meetings and training so that remote options are considered first to minimise travel and time wastage. Thirdly it plans to progress the adoption of digital services for video conferencing for patients, as well as for staff when conducting training or meetings.
Maria Wheeler, executive director of finance, performance and improvement at Hertfordshire Partnership University, said: “We are playing a leading role through our Green Plan in helping create a better future for our children and our children’s children.
“Climate Change is a health crisis because all our lives depend upon us living on a healthy planet. The founding principles of the NHS centred on better health care and better health outcomes for all and, as an NHS Trust, we are determined to ensure that every aspect of our organisation is geared up to building a better, brighter for our communities and the planet we all live on.”
The trust’s three-year Green Plan 2022-2025 is aligned with the wide NHS’ commitment to achieve two key targets:
- For the NHS carbon footprint (the emissions the NHS controls directly) to be net zero by 2040.
- For the NHS carbon footprint plus (the emissions the NHS can influence) to be net zero by 2040.
NHS Digital has recently announced a saving of an average of 22,000 car journeys to GP surgeries every single month, thanks to the NHS App which allows for appointments and repeat prescription requests to be made through it.