North Wales extension of Nitrous Oxide project

Bruno Cullinan

Background to the Project

A specific element of the NHS net-zero by 2040 goal is the reduction in the emissions from anaesthetic gases. Nitrous Oxide alone accounts for 75% of the total anaesthetic gas footprint and recent work at NHS Lothian found that wastage from piped manifolds was, by far, the largest contributor to this. The result of their work was the decommissioning of one of the Nitrous Oxide manifolds and hence the reduction in non-use emission.

The Project

The structure and organisation of the Ysbyty Gwynedd site, and indeed the others in North Wales, are different from those in Lothian and therefore so too are the challenges faced in reducing wastage of anaesthetic gases. As a result of this we plan to use the framework created by the Nitrous Oxide project in Lothian but adapt it with innovative ideas to fit the population and infrastructure of North Wales hospitals, starting in Bangor.

How this will be achieved

While Nitrous Oxide use has changed dramatically in clinical practice over the past decade, it remains a useful, and indeed vital, medicine which has a place in an advanced healthcare setting. What is not acceptable is the vast wastage associated with it and so our project sets out to reduce this. To do this we will engage clinicians not only from within the anaesthetic department but also the pharmacy department as well as non-clinical personnel with relevant interests: estates, portering and hospital services. We feel that this cross-sectional approach is vital to delivering a meaningful and sustainable change for the better of patients and the wider population alike.

Anticipated benefits

A reduction in Nitrous Oxide wastage