HEALTH chiefs at Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System are backing plans to create a greener NHS and vowing to take action to improve health by tackling climate change.

The pledge comes at a time when the Glasgow COP26 summit has been shining a light upon the worldwide climate crisis and encouraging international cooperation to address the global threat. It also follows the launch of a nationwide NHS drive to make health services more sustainable.

The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS was established in April (2021), with members from local authorities, hospital trusts, primary care and voluntary and community services. The ICS began by setting out 10 key pledges to help shape its work, including a vow to respond to the threat of climate change.

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS has set up a climate change working group which is currently developing a system-wide ‘Green Plan’, to be completed by the end of March next year (2022). Ahead of its launch, each ICS organisation is looking at the way it operates to check whether it can be run in a more efficient and sustainable way.

Sir Neil McKay, Independent Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICS, said it was clear that climate change poses a major threat to NHS staff, patients, and their communities, and that it would benefit everyone in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to take steps now to reduce emissions and cut waste.

“There is a direct link between the health of our planet and the health of our people,” said Sir Neil.” The NHS is acting to reduce the harmful gases it puts into the atmosphere.”