We need to consider what we, as organisations and individuals, can do to reduce our own carbon footprints. It’s all very well to talk about it, but this winter, this extreme weather, shows just how close global warming could be. For Britain, global warming doesn’t mean getting warmer, it means getting colder – we’re on the same latitude as Alaska, and we should expect that sort of weather.
The talks in Copenhagen didn’t seem to be about us – they seemed to be about the way nations handle it. But macro-economics is about influencing what many individual people and organisations do, and that means that talks in Copenhagen were about to you and me, and our individual actions.
So what is this to you and me? I know I, for one, take the train whenever I can. I walk to the railway station, just over a mile, even when it’s wet, or cold, or dark, or snowy as it has been in the last few weeks. I don’t feel smug about it, in fact I am almost frightened, because the weather seems to be a little bit freaky.
What action can you take?
People receiving care in hospital reduces the number of carbon miles that your staff run up to give health care. But what about the carbon miles that patients run up coming to hospital, either for treatment, or to visit their friends and relatives? What about the costs of heating and lighting a hospital, when the patient’s own home is going to be heated and lit anyway?
Perhaps it’s time to look again, with fresh eyes, and what can be moved into the community. To look at what GPs can commission, and even what GP provider organisations can provide.
The results could be outstanding! Not only could you reach your targets for moving Healthcare out of hospital and into the community, you could also hit your financial targets at a time of constraint, spreading your finite budget to care for more people with more conditions. What are you in Healthcare for? This has to make sense!