Coming together across Sussex to celebrate NHS Sustainability Day

NHS Trusts are coming together across Sussex to celebrate NHS Sustainability Day on March 24th to recognise the positive difference we can make in the NHS to protect our environment and benefit our wellbeing.

Led by Capita’s sustainability team at Sussex Community NHS Trust (the team behind the sustainable healthcare programme, Care Without Carbon) several Sussex Trusts are joining forces to encourage staff to get involved. Trusts taking part include Brighton & Hove CCG and GP Practices, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and South East Coast Ambulance Service.

All these Trusts are inviting staff to BYO on 24th March. We don’t mean alcohol – but (sustainably sourced) food! Staff are encouraged to bring in a home-prepared meal that day using seasonal, local, organic and ideally vegetarian ingredients. And on site canteens at some Trusts will also be supporting the event with low carbon meal options.

Simon Meredith, Head of Property Management Services at BSUH said, “It is great to see Trusts working together across the healthcare sector and across Sussex. Tackling climate change is something that takes collective effort, and this is a great place to start – and it’s a fun way to raise awareness. “

Whether it’s a lunch or a midnight feast, a meal on your own or with a team, the idea is to embrace all shifts and working patterns to allow as many people as possible to take part in celebrating NHS Sustainability Day.

Why BYO?

Bringing in your home prepared meal(s) for the day has lots of positives:

  • – Eating organic, seasonal, vegetarian food has a lower impact on the environment
  • – Supporting local producers is great for the local economy and reduces food miles travelled
  • – No need to throw away packaging from ready-made sarnies – reducing the cost of waste for the Trust
  • – It saves you money with less shop bought meals
  • – It gives staff a chance to share a meal with colleagues – and swap recipe ideas
  • – It encourages healthier eating

Making more considered food choices can help us protect our environment and support wellbeing – of ourselves, our patients and future generations.

Sue Sjuve, Chair of Sussex Community NHS Trust said “I fully support this new initiative from our imaginative and energetic Dare to Care team, who are managing to make caring for the environment fun as well as worthy! To help sustain the planet’s resources I personally am trying to reduce the amount of meat I eat, and to support local producers. There are few things as tasty as a local garden or farm grown tomato! I love them!”

Will Clark, Director of Environmental Services at Capita Health Partners said, “Collectively we have the power to create lasting change for a better working life and a greener NHS. It doesn’t always need to be a single grand gesture; we can also make progress with persistent, small shifts in how we do things.”

Staff taking part on the day will sign up for the BYO dare by emailing hello@carewithoutcarbon. Or you can dare direct on the Care Without Carbon website carewithoutcarbon.org and the Care Without Carbon team will track participation to feedback on the day for everyone involved.

Why the NHS?

NHS Sustainability Day is about taking the actions today that will ensure we have a health service for the future.

We’re already seeing that a changing climate can impact our health – both locally and globally. And we know that our own health and wellbeing, as NHS professionals, defines the quality of care we’re able to deliver. To help our patients today – and tomorrow – we need to do our bit, both for the environment, and our own wellbeing.

Find out more about sustainable healthcare and how you can get involved on the Care Without Carbon website, carewithoutcarbon.org.