Healthcare

Carbon Literacy Toolkits for Healthcare

Why Carbon Literacy for Healthcare?

The global health sector accounts for around 4% of emissions worldwide, that’s more than shipping or aviation.

The NHS’s carbon footprint totals at 25 million tonnes (that’s the same as the annual emissions for the whole of Sri Lanka), and with its Net Zero by 2040 target fast approaching, there is a need to take action now.

In the 2021 Lancet report, it’s highlighted that despite being aware of climate change, healthcare staff feel unprepared to discuss the issue with patients and colleagues in order to drive significant change. The report highlights the need for ‘continuing professional education, communication training and patient education materials’ to overcome barriers such as time constraints so commonly felt by NHS staff.

To this end, we’ve produced a Carbon Literacy Toolkit for Healthcare that provides all the resources and tools needed to engage staff in national net-zero policy and encourage low carbon actions across the NHS. From CCG’s to estates, theatres and hospital wards to GPs practices, Carbon Literacy is for everyone to identify how they can reduce their workplace emissions.

The Carbon Literacy Toolkit for Healthcare inextricably links climate change and human health, providing details highlighting how a healthier planet can lead to a healthier population and therefore less demand for healthcare services. It has the additional benefits of being an adaptable framework that can be tailored to the needs of your department or team, whether in a medical, professional or support role. The Healthcare Framework provides a comprehensive and detailed starting point to delivering climate education within your healthcare organisation.

We have courses available for NHS staff and Ambulance services. Additional support for public bodies and government departments can be found here.

 

Introduction

  • Carbon Literacy Toolkits and sector-specific courses have been developed to maximise the speed and ease with which Carbon Literacy can be adopted within each sector.
  • The majority of the materials have been developed and accredited to save time, costs, and make adoption as easy as possible, with only the addition of local content and case study examples needed to tailor the course to your audience.
  • Toolkit and course development is supported by The Carbon Literacy Project, but, as always, training materials are developed, contributed, curated, selected and reviewed by representatives of the relevant sector.
  • Toolkit materials are kept up to date either by The Carbon Literacy Project or by sectoral experts working closely with The Project.
  • This approach maximises the opportunity for healthcare organisations to use the latest and most effective sectoral materials for their learners.
  • As a result, ‘reinvention of the wheel’ is avoided, and the expertise and experience of many are brought together, to deliver more effective training and better climate change outcomes.

 

Can healthcare staff use the same course?

The Healthcare Framework applied in the NHS Generic Staff Course takes a slightly different approach than our other sectoral courses. In this instance, we have taken a framework approach, due to the many varied working roles of healthcare professionals. This framework allows training to be relevant to all NHS staff, whilst maintaining specificity to the learner’s work. The materials are ~75% generic, with ~25% being customisable to the job roles of the learners (this is slightly more so than in other sectors). The customisable content consists of editable slides where local examples and case studies can be inserted. The case study module allows trainers to apply specific case studies detailing what others in roles similar to their learner group are already doing, and so that group could be doing to reduce emissions in their job role. This will vary from one group to the next, depending on the specific job role.

 

Who can gain access to the Toolkits?

Toolkits are designed for specific sectoral audiences and content is matched to the needs of that sector and specific working role. As such, materials are only released to organisations that in the view of the funders, the sectoral consortium, or The Carbon Literacy Project, correctly belong to that sector. This is not only because of the need to maintain the quality of Carbon Literacy by ensuring the appropriateness of the content, but because Toolkits are usually governed by Creative Commons licensing agreements and content is owned by contributors who have only given permission for its use, or commercially licensed it for use, in specific not-for-profit contexts. Training organisations, consultants or private organisations wanting to adopt Toolkit materials or adapt them for new sectors or audiences should in the first instance approach The Carbon Literacy Project.

If you are an organisation that has not had contact with The Carbon Literacy Project before we will normally talk to you first, either by phone or online, to better understand your delivery plans and connect you up with other organisations and/or people that may be able to support you.

Coordination and piloting of the healthcare sectoral courses have been funded by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) via The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and has involved contribution and donation of materials and testing and piloting by a number of authors, trusts and healthcare services.

Making the case

One of the most common queries from healthcare organisations is for advice and support persuading colleagues of the financial case for an organisation rolling out Carbon Literacy and becoming Carbon Literate; as well as for help, or useful materials, to make the initial case to colleagues to participate.

Here are some resources free for you to use to help you make that case:

 

Karen Aguilera, North West Ambulance Service

At the time of writing, the first-ever Carbon Literacy course for ambulance services is being run. Karen, the trainer and lead author of the course, wrote this Twitter thread on how preparing for the course has affected her.

 

Net Zero NHS – Blog

The NHS Net Zero report states that staff engagement is key for achieving influential changes across the NHS, the report also adds that the NHS has a need to increase Carbon Literacy in order to achieve the goals stated throughout.

 

Leeds Teaching Hospital Carbon Literacy Actions

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has taken the first steps to become officially become Carbon Literate, allowing it to take an important step towards its goal of becoming one of the greenest NHS Trusts in the UK.

 

BBC Vox Pop

Staff members from a cross-section of the BBC reflect on undertaking Carbon Literacy training and how it’s changed the way they think and work.

 

Making the Case

A helpful document to help you ‘make the case’ for Carbon Literacy training in your organisation.

 

Toolkits

NHS Generic Staff Course

Available Now
Free to use for qualifying organisations

Audience
Aimed at staff working in the NHS, with the ability to differentiate between roles*.

Versions
The course is a day’s worth of interactive training developed to be run over either:

  • one full day
  • two half days

It’s designed to be delivered online using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. However, with minor changes, the materials can be delivered in a face-to-face training environment.

*The framework to the NHS Generic Course can be customised to suit any department or team across the NHS, with examples such as theatres and procurement already leading the way. We can support you in the development or cooption of customisable content to suit your specific audience.

Please get in touch if you would like to explore either of these options in more detail.

The highlight of the course was the opportunity to bounce ideas around with other people and listen to experiences from others in the group. It led to some thought-provoking discussions and ultimately it felt uplifting to know there were other people who were working on these problems too.
– Katherine Smith, Former Junior Doctor

Produced in partnership with
The Carbon Literacy Project
SEE Sustainability

Course development funded by
Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)

Overview

Ambulance Service Generic Staff Course

Available Now
Free to use for qualifying organisations

Audience
Aimed at staff working in Ambulance services.

Versions
The course is a day’s worth of interactive training developed to be run over either:

  • one full day
  • two half days

It’s designed to be delivered online using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. However, with minor changes, the materials can be delivered in a face-to-face training environment. Please get in touch if you would like to explore this option in more detail.

“There’s always an assumption that those of us who work in Sustainability have sustainable living figured out. We don’t, we face the same barriers that the average person does – money, time constraints, willpower and, of course, the benefit of convenience! There wasn’t really anything I didn’t know about included in the Carbon Literacy training, but it raised questions. Developing this training stopped me from excusing myself from taking action! I’ve made and will continue with some massive personal changes & have further ones in the planning.”
– Karen Aguilera, Sustainability Officer for North West Ambulance Service

Produced in partnership with
The Carbon Literacy Project
North West Ambulance Service

Course development funded by
Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)

Overview

NHS Leadership Course

Coming Soon

Audience
Aimed at leadership staff working in the NHS. The Leadership Course enables all NHS leaders to explore how they can provide leadership in the climate emergency and how climate change can be integrated into decision-making.

Ambulance Leadership Course

Coming Soon

Audience
Aimed at leadership staff working in Ambulance services. The Leadership Course enables all Ambulance leaders to explore how they can provide leadership in the climate emergency and how climate change can be integrated into decision-making.

"There's always an assumption that those of us who work in Sustainability have sustainable living figured out. We don't, we face the same barriers that the average person does - money, time constraints, willpower and, of course, the benefit of convenience! There wasn't really anything I didn't know about included in the Carbon Literacy training, but it raised questions. Developing this training stopped me from excusing myself from taking action! I've made and will continue with some massive personal changes & have further ones in the planning."

Karen Aguilera, Sustainability Officer for North West Ambulance Service

"My team and I found the training really useful and very insightful. In addition to a grounding in the science behind climate change, we learned about how it’s also a health emergency and how we as a Trust contribute to it, along with its implications for us, as an organisation… The training isn’t just theoretical, we also learned about practical, everyday ways in which we can go about meeting those targets."

Craige Richardson, Director of Estates and Facilities at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

"An insightful and comprehensive course for colleagues within the Healthcare sector. The course perfectly deconstructed the 'Why' and the 'How', equipping me with the knowledge and determination to effect the significant decarbonisation of our industry."

Zoe Anderson, Surgical Equipment Specialist at Bausch and Lomb

"You may have heard people who have been through the Carbon Literacy training raving about it... And rightly so! I was sceptical about CL at first. I didn't know if we could pull it off in the time frame, if I could get commitment from our Sustainability Steering Group to attend or even if we would continue rolling out beyond the pilot. To get there we did a lot of research on the health impacts of climate change... SO MUCH RESEARCH. We've had quite the challenge trying to fit so much content relevant to NWAS and the NHS into this training and I'm really excited."

Karen Aguilera, Sustainability Officer for North West Ambulance Service

"The highlight of the course was the opportunity to bounce ideas around with other people and listen to experiences from others in the group. It led to some thought-provoking discussions and ultimately it felt uplifting to know there were other people who were working on these problems too.”

Katherine Smith, Former Junior Doctor

"The actions of individuals can and do make a difference. Learners who have completed a days’ worth of approved Carbon Literacy learning can be certified as Carbon Literate and we believe this training, this deepening of awareness, is a valuable tool in helping us to become a greener organisation."

Libby Sutherland, Environmental Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Request a Toolkit

To request one or more of the available Toolkits for Healthcare, please Contact Us listing ‘Healthcare Toolkit’ as the subject. Please include the following:

  • A healthcare organisation / NHS email address
  • Which Toolkit course you are requesting?
  • Why you are interested in these courses?
  • Your plans for roll-out (if at this stage of thinking)

If you’d prefer not to use the contact form, please email us at healthcare@carbonliteracy.com

Enquiries

For any enquiries relating to Carbon Literacy for Healthcare please contact us at healthcare@carbonliteracy.com

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