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The Natural Choice for Bespoke Health and Social Care Compliance

Environmental Sustainability in Health and Social Care | Implementing the CQCs Guidelines

Greening the Care Sector: A Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

Published On:

27 November 2023

Published In:

In recent years, people have started to realise the importance of taking care of the environment in all areas, including health and social care. With the Care Quality Commission (CQC) introducing a quality statement centred around environmental sustainability in its new single assessment framework it’s important for us to think about the impact that the care industry has on the environment as we work towards a more sustainable future.

The healthcare industry uses a lot of energy, creates a lot of waste, and contributes to pollution. However, if services start focusing on being more environmentally friendly in caregiving, we can not only reduce our environmental impact; but also make the living environment healthier and more sustainable.

The main thing to note with the current roll-out of the CQC Single Assessment Framework, in the first year we will only see NHS Trusts being assessed against Environmental Sustainability; with all other service sectors being delayed and having this year to prepare themselves for future assessments.

So what can you start doing now to ensure your service is Environmentally sustainable with ongoing sustainable developments?

One way to be more environmentally sustainable in care is by using energy-efficient technology and managing resources better. Healthcare and social care services can buy things like LED lights and energy-saving appliances to reduce the amount of carbon they produce. They should also make sure they’re properly recycling materials and disposing of medical waste correctly to minimise the impact on the environment and encourage the people they care for to do the same.

Another way in which we can support environmental sustainability, is when new services or adaptions  are designed that this is undertaken in an eco-friendly way. This means using materials that are good for the environment, using energy-efficient systems, incorporating renewable energy and creating green spaces. All of this can make the services healthier for staff, service users and the community.

In addition, staff should be encouraged to walk or cycle to work where practical thinking about offering bike to work schemes. As a company, you could consider investing in electric or hybrid vehicles for corporate use.

It’s also important to think about being sustainable in patient care. This means using medical supplies that are good for the environment, not using too many single-use plastics, considering environmental sustainability in supply chains and procurement decisions and encouraging people to use resources responsibly. Health and social care workers can also promote preventive care and choices that are good for both people and the environment and make sustainable choices when prescribing medications.

Recognising the impact of environmental changes on service users

Climate change is making extreme weather events more likely and more intense, with greater impacts expected the more Earth warms. Health and social care professionals should be alert to the effects of heat extremes and other adverse weather events on service users.  Don’t forget to consider the impact of climate change in your Business continuity/Emergency plans and document the proactive steps you can take to mitigate or minimise the effects.

In the end, it’s up to the care sector to lead the way in being environmentally sustainable. By using energy-efficient practices, eco-friendly buildings, and responsible caregiving, we can help make the planet healthier. Looking ahead, being environmentally sustainable in care isn’t just an option – it’s a commitment to the well-being of everyone now and in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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