Greener Primary Care

Angharad Woolridge and Victoria Hannah

Background to the Project

Climate change is the biggest challenge to health in the medium and long term and the consequences are likely to be wide-ranging and adverse. To mitigate these effects, the Welsh Government has set ambitious targets for public sector decarbonisation by 2030 and for net zero emissions from all sectors by 2050. The NHS Wales Decarbonisation Strategic Delivery Plan sets out the roadmap to achieving this target within the NHS, however, this high-level document does not provide primary care settings with the practical tools required to enact change. In England, however, the Green Impact for health schemes in general practice and dentistry provide this resource. A need was therefore identified for a bespoke Welsh environmental sustainability framework for all independent primary care contractors.

The Project

The Greener Primary Care framework and award scheme will support the four independent primary care contractors in Wales* to undertake environmental sustainability actions in practice. In the future the framework could be scaled up to include actions at primary care collaborative and cluster level. The framework will align to the NHS Wales Decarbonisation Plan and the existing Green Impact for Health toolkits.

How this will be achieved

A small project team within the Primary Care Hub is leading this work within PHW. The project will be a collaborative effort with key stakeholders via the establishment of an Expert Group. SOS-UK, a not-for-profit organisation will be commissioned to develop, manage and audit the framework and award scheme. A number of pilot sites will test the draft framework prior to national launch, and the framework will be reviewed annually by SOS-UK and the Expert Group.

Anticipated benefits

  • A proactive step to achieving a carbon neutral NHS by 2030
  • Multiple co-benefits to human and planetary health
  • Potential monetary savings for independent contractors
  • A vehicle for demonstrating the ways of working and goals of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and UN Sustainable Development goals