Integrated Care System for Devon features at COP26

The ICS for Devon has been showcased at COP26 in a photography exhibition, “Care for the future: delivering the world’s first net zero health service.

The photography exhibition, captured by portrait photographer, Justin Lambert, features NHS staff – from pharmacists to surgeons, mental health professionals to health visitors – who have pioneered greener healthcare initiatives for the benefit of their patients and the communities they serve.

The ICS was invited to be part of the exhibition following work by the CCG communications team to promote the benefits of virtual appointments; including the environmental impact.

Across the Integrated Care System for Devon, video and phone hospital appointments have saved patients an estimated 13.5 million miles of travelling over the course of a year, equivalent to circumnavigating the globe 550 times.

The exhibition for COP26 pictured Jo Harness (see picture); an Advanced Occupational Therapist in Rheumatology based within the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust. She splits her time working in hospital and from her barge, delivering remote occupational therapy sessions to patients who might experience discomfort when travelling due to limited mobility.

Jo said “It’s a much more environmentally friendly way of working and it’s popular with my patients too – reducing the stress and discomfort of travelling to hospital.”

Patients can always opt for a face-to-face or a remote appointment. For many of those patients who opted for a remote appointment, this has reduced the stress of travelling to a hospital appointment. Parts of Devon are rural, so patients may have to travel a long way to get to appointments. For Jo, her lifestyle on the barge means that she can look after her own health and well-being too, which has a positive impact on her patients as well.

Around 3.5% of all road travel in England relates to NHS patients, visitors, staff and suppliers. As a result of holding 350,000 remote appointments, hospitals across the Integrated Care System for Devon have saved 2,503 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the same as taking 1,200 cars off the road for a year.

The exhibition will tour the country next year and can also be viewed on the Greener NHS website.

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