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Foleshill Health Centre electric car charger

Community Health Partnerships champions reducing air pollution for Clean Air Day 2024

On Clean Air Day (20 June 2024), Community Health Partnerships (CHP) continues to reduce emissions and improve air quality because of their significant and direct impact on people’s health and the environment.  Here at CHP, we recognise the importance of clean air for our patients, staff, and the wider community. The 2024 theme, ‘Protecting Our Health from Air Pollution’ highlights a critical issue. Transport fumes are a major contributor to air pollution, linked to a range of health problems including respiratory illnesses, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. 

Just under 10 billion road miles per annum (3.5% of the UK total) directly related to the NHS

CHP’s Green Plan outlines a series of initiatives to promote sustainable practices across our portfolio of 308 primary care buildings. This includes a focus on reducing air pollution from vehicles. We’re committed to supporting a Greener NHS with the aim to be a net zero NHS. Tackling transport emissions is a key part of reaching net zero.

Read: CHP Green Plan – a Greener CHP, a Greener NHS (2022).

Active Travel and using Public Transport

One of the most effective ways to cut down on transport fumes is by encouraging active travel options like walking and cycling. These methods not only improve air quality but also promote physical activity, leading to a healthier population. CHP is working with local authorities and health partners on cycling infrastructure near our health centres, making active travel a more accessible choice.  We are adding bike storage and encouraging sustainable transport at our primary care buildings.  CHP healthcare buildings are often near key locations in their local communities and have good public transport links.

On Clean Air Day 2024, Community Health Partnerships is proud to champion cleaner air for a healthier nation and a Greener NHS. Poor air quality with high levels of pollutants poses a significant threat to public health, and we're committed to tackling this issue through our Green Plan. By promoting active travel options and expanding electric vehicle charging points at our health centres, we're empowering staff, patients, and visitors to make sustainable choices. Together, we can create a healthier environment and a healthier future for all.

Investing in the Future: Expanding Electric Vehicle Charging Points

CHP is taking action to expand the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions to our health centres across England. We work closely with local LIFTCo teams, tenants, and ICSs to understand individual site needs and ensure the chargers are the most suitable.

This initiative will make it easier for staff, patients, and visitors to choose cleaner greener transportation options. By providing convenient charging facilities, we hope to encourage a switch to EVs and further reduce air pollution in the area around our healthcare centres.

Foleshill Health Centre electric car charger

Promoting biodiversity to improve air quality

Alongside promoting active and sustainable travel options, we recognise the importance of increasing nature and green spaces to counteract the harmful effects of air pollution. We are working with our property teams and LIFTcos across the CHP estate to increase green space and biodiversity.

Read: CHP Sustainability Update for Tenants: Green Space and Biodiversity March 2024

This strategy outlines the economic, health and societal benefits of decarbonising NHS travel and transport, specifically:

  • The NHS fleet; vehicles that are owned or leased by the NHS, including emergency ambulances, non-emergency patient transport services (NEPTS) and secondary, community and primary care vehicles.
  • Business travel; including travel in private vehicles for NHS business (known as the grey fleet) and other forms of business travel (eg, commissioned transport services).
  • Staff commuting; employee travel to and from home to place(s) of work.
The NHS fleet is the second largest fleet in the country, consisting of over 20,000 vehicles travelling over 460 million miles every year. This fleet, combined with the impact of commissioned services and staff travel, directly contributes to the 36,000 deaths that occur every year from air pollution. This burden is borne disproportionately by those with pre-existing health conditions, older people, and children.

Resources on sustainable transport

Cars and vans are the biggest source of toxic chemicals in our air.  Outdoor air pollution is responsible for between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths in the UK every year (Greener NHS figures).

Everyone should have the option to travel in ways that are better for our health and the planet. This Clean Air Day let’s make walking, cycling, and wheeling easier and ensure that everyone can access public transport that is reliable, affordable, and efficient.

Read more:

CHP Tenants: Helping you to reach your sustainability goals

CHP is dedicated to supporting our tenants in their sustainability efforts, including supporting the introduction of EV charging points.   We offer a range of resources and expertise to help you, including identifying areas for improvement and implementing sustainable solutions.  CHP’s Sustainability Team is here to assist you on your journey towards a more sustainable future. Together, we can make a significant contribution to a Greener NHS. 

Please contact the Sustainability Team sustainability@communityhealthparternships.co.uk and your local Property and Operations team for further information.

Sustainability at CHP

As part of the NHS family, CHP supports the NHS ambition to deliver the world’s first net zero health system. Sustainable Facilities are one of our five strategic aims and Sustainability is one of our four corporate social responsibility pillars. Aligning with the NHS target of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2040, the team at CHP are committed to achieve Net Zero Carbon for the LIFT estate by 2040 and 2030 for our corporate functions.

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