‘Health Services Can Do Even More to Help Sustainability’, Says KPMG
The National Health Services (NHS) can lead the world in advanced energy systems, lean delivery systems and new technologies, said a KPMG partner and UK head in the wake of ongoing debate prompted by ‘Climate Week’.
Andrew Hine says: “In the EU, the health sector creates 5% of total emissions, the equivalent of the region’s aviation and shipping industries combined. It is a vast figure, but with changes coming to the NHS, Britain’s health service now has an excellent opportunity to show global leadership by reducing emissions, creating new jobs and providing a global example of what health can do.
“KPMG’s recent report, ‘Expect the Unexpected’, identified ten global sustainability ‘mega-forces’ that are inter-connected and important in health outcomes. Three key areas – energy production, consumption and distribution – are highly fragmented and inefficient across the health service. Yet, the NHS could develop one of the largest public-private sector movements in the world, raising substantial investment sums, creating thousands of jobs and substantially reducing emissions by creating a national network of leading edge combined heat and power plants with green waste management facilities that would transform performance.
“Secondly, the distribution chain between pharmaceuticals and health could be updated. Currently, pharmaceutical companies have fragmented supply chains with hospitals, GP surgeries and retail outlets with millions of vehicle movements across the UK. By working together, the NHS and life sciences sectors can streamline the process thereby reducing the number of deliveries, amount of packaging and cost.
“Finally, the way care is delivered can also be re-designed. The latest development of e-health, telehealth and telecare offers us a glimpse of what could be. To its credit, the Department of Health launched the largest randomised control trial in the world and its 3 year evaluation has recently been published. With a stunning reduction in mortality levels of 45%, emergency admissions of 20% and costs by 8% the NHS has showed the rest of the world what is possible. Telecare can also reduce emissions and improve health.
“As the UK needs new ideas for economic growth and Rio+20 looks to build sustainability, the NHS can lead the world in energy efficiency, lean delivery systems and new technologies. New public-private partnerships could raise substantial investment, create thousands of jobs and make an important contribution to saving our planet. We need to innovate, be creative, and have the courage to act at scale with speed.’’