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Less waste, more health: A health professional's guide to reducing waste

The Less waste, more health report explains how health professionals can positively influence societal health and wellbeing by making simple changes to the procurement and disposal of medical supplies.

In England, there are 165 hospital trusts with a combined expenditure of over £4.6 billion per annum on medical supplies and other consumables. What we use and how we dispose of it has an impact not only on the finances of the NHS but the environment and population health.

Less waste, more health features a range of case studies and 12 recommendations setting out how everyone from individual to trust level can:

  • positively influence the health of patients
  • aid financial savings
  • shape the impact of the NHS on the environment.

Reducing the NHS carbon footprint

The NHS has made a commitment in line with the 2008 Climate Change Act to reduce carbon emissions by 80%. Significant effort will be required to ensure current emissions are reduced, as well as countering rising emissions associated with increasing demand on the NHS. This report illustrates the financial and environmental co-benefits of addressing the issue of waste in the NHS.

The NHS has a duty to improve efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, ensuring that healthcare today doesn’t compromise health and healthcare availability in the future. To achieve this, all NHS staff must become resource advocates, procuring, using and disposing of all resources in the most efficient way.