The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) has agreed a new collaboration with Greener NHS to make sure its Fellows are “climate-ready” in helping to reduce carbon emissions in healthcare.

The NIA is delivered by the AHSN Network to accelerate innovation across the NHS in England, in response to national health and care priorities as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Greener NHS – the initiative which aims to deliver a net zero NHS by 2040 – will provide support and guidance to NIA Fellows on how to reduce the impact of their solutions on the environment.

Contributing around 4% of England’s emissions, the NHS is both a part of the problem and the solution; it must tackle climate change at source if it is to deliver on its core purpose: to improve health and care, now and for future generations.

In October 2020, the NHS became the world’s first health service to commit to reaching carbon net zero, in response to the profound and growing threat to health posed by climate change. It has set two targets:

  • To be net zero by 2040 for directly controlled emissions.
  • To be net zero by 2045 for emissions that the NHS influences.

The support offered to the NIA and its Fellows by Greener NHS will include:

  • Helping Fellows to understand the net zero NHS objectives and associated requirements, particularly the requirements of the NHS supplier roadmap and complete climate-readiness assessments to support them on their journey towards net zero.
  • Optional follow-on sessions for Fellows to receive advice with their Carbon Reduction Plans (CRP).
  • Developing the NIA’s Fellow recruitment approach to embed sustainability as part of the application and selection process.

The AHSN Network’s sustainability teams and Net Zero lead will also be supporting the NIA and its Fellows in carrying out their assessments.

Konrad Dobschuetz, National Director, NIA comments: “Addressing the climate crisis is one of the key challenges of our time and healthcare has a significant role to play in helping to reduce carbon emissions. Our collaboration with Greener NHS will help us to provide our current and future Fellows with the knowledge and support to contribute to the drive to reach net zero complementing their overall maturity journey. We look forward to working with them.” 

Nick Watts, Chief Sustainability Officer, NHS England, comments: “Innovation is the vital energy that drives better health for our patients and communities while tackling climate change and saving the NHS money.

The NIA programme does exactly this – supporting innovators on their sustainability journey and preparing the broader industry for our net zero future.” 

Piyush Mahapatra, NIA Fellow, CEO and co-founder OpenMedical, comments: “I am delighted and grateful to hear this and look very much forward to continuing our work with the colleagues from the Greener NHS. By being part of the NIA programme, we can benefit from this partnership and really looking forward to furthering our cause of sustainable healthcare for everyone through digital excellence.”

Pete Waddingham, AHSN NetZero Lead, comments: “Net Zero is a key driver for the AHSN Network to support innovators in their journey and help the NHS in their plan to become a net zero organization by 2040. As the Net Zero lead for the Network, I am very much looking forward to the outcome of this collaboration and beginning to see innovators entering the NHS which can positively contribute to the Net Zero agenda.”

The NIA is an award-winning NHS England initiative, working to support NHS Long Term Plan priorities by accelerating uptake of promising innovations for patient, population and NHS staff benefit. Delivered by the AHSN Network, the NIA is commissioned by the NHS Accelerated Access Collaborative.

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