Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust (DGT) has been looking into how it can reduce emissions associated with anaesthetic and analgesic practices, as these account for two per cent of the NHS carbon footprint.
As a result, the trust announced in February that it is the first in Kent to decommission desflurane, which is an anaesthetic used to put patients to sleep safely during surgery but has a global warming potential 2,500 times greater than carbon dioxide.
This is a fantastic achievement as in the 2021/2022 financial year, the trust used 22,260ml of desflurane, the equivalent to 82,832kg of carbon dioxide. By decommissioning this particular anaesthetic, DGT is dramatically reducing its CO2 emissions.
Pharmacy teams at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) have cut their use of plastic bags from a quarter of a million a year to zero.
It is part of the trust’s work to become more environmentally sustainable, and meet the NHS’s target of being net zero for carbon emissions by 2040.
The plastic bag project was led by staff who are passionate about reducing their impact on the environment and improving care for patients. The team identified the three areas where plastic bags were most used and found sustainable alternatives, meaning the department no longer uses any plastic bags at all.