The production, and operation, of complex medical equipment produces large volumes of carbon. Much of the work to reduce the impact here lies with manufacturers and suppliers, so it is important we show this is important to us when we make decisions on new equipment.
Also, medical equipment also creates waste at the end of its life. Whilst this is measured separately in our 'waste' carbon emissions, it is important when we purchase equipment that we also think about its lifespan, upgradeability, repairability and ultimately whether it can be recycled.
We also need to think about how we can encourage the reuse and return of more equipment from patients, for example crutches, wheelchairs etc.
What we've done
- Created a working group to investigate, and action, carbon saving alternatives and methods.
- Include carbon weighting in tender returns to determine most sustainable fit for purpose equipment and devices.
What we're doing
- Fully quantifying the carbon associated with our current purchasing of medical equipment and devices.
- Using carbon quantification to inform more sustainable and ethical procurement.
- Increasing the tender expectations for large equipment items.
- Establishing a programme to return and reuse more medical equipment issued to patients.