Angharad Wooldridge, Victoria Hannah, Sian Evans and Huw Williams
Public Health Wales
Climate change is the biggest challenge to health in the medium and long term and the consequences are likely to be wide-ranging and adverse. To mitigate these effects, the Welsh Government has set ambitious targets for public sector decarbonisation by 2030 and for net zero emissions from all sectors by 2050. The NHS Wales Decarbonisation Strategic Delivery Plan sets out the roadmap to achieving this target within the NHS, however, this high-level document does not provide primary care settings with the practical tools required to enact change. In England, however, the Green Impact for health schemes in general practice and dentistry provide this resource. A need was therefore identified for a bespoke Welsh environmental sustainability framework for all independent primary care contractors.
The Greener Primary Care framework and award scheme will support the four independent primary care contractors in Wales* to undertake environmental sustainability actions in practice. In the future the framework could be scaled up to include actions at primary care collaborative and cluster level. The framework will align to the NHS Wales Decarbonisation Plan and the existing Green Impact for Health toolkits.
The objective of 5% of professional contractors across Wales registering with the framework was achieved ahead of schedule by early August 2022.
General Practices were by far the most engaged contractor type, with over 14% across Wales registering. Around a third of registered practices have begun recording progress against actions via the digital framework.
Contributing towards achieving legally binding targets regarding the public sector in Wales reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Capability and competency building within the primary care workforce and its strategic stakeholders via awareness raising sessions, education and implementation.
Wider impact: Influencing legislation relating to GP improvement grants, allowing grant money to be used towards climate mitigation. National recognition from the Head of Ophthalmic Services in Northern Ireland congratulating Wales on “leading the way” following the publication of the Optometry Today article. Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales 2025 Goals includes action for community pharmacy to sign up to scheme.