King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust marked Clear Air Day on Thursday (16 June) by inviting staff and the local community to hear about its ongoing plans to improve air quality across their hospital sites and provide sustainable healthcare.
Poor air quality is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK, with around 36,000 deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure. There is also strong evidence that air pollution can contribute to the development of strokes, lung cancer and asthma.
With more than 200 hospitals in England located in areas of toxic air, King’s is taking tangible steps to improve the air quality for its patients and community.
As detailed in the Trust’s five-year Green Plan, King’s is supporting staff, patients and visitors to move from car use to active travel methods, to improve their health and wellbeing, and improve air quality.
At King’s College Hospital, new cycle storage facilities have been built – including a facility at Denmark Hill station – and can now accommodate over 400 bikes, which has doubled since the start of the year.
The Trust has also taken steps to move from fossil fuel to electric powered vehicles, with over 10% of its fleet now powered by electricity.
New air pollution monitors have also been installed at King’s College Hospital and Orpington Hospital, to make it easier to access real-time air quality data and monitor improvements.
To mark Clean Air Day, the Trust held a series of informative talks and interactive stalls to help inform and empower staff, patients and visitors to understand the link between air quality and health, and take action to protect patients and the wider community.
Clean air advocate and Lewisham resident, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, whose 9-year-old daughter, Ella, sadly passed in 2013 as a result of asthma, which was exacerbated by breathing in polluted air, also attended the event.
Lorcan Woods, Chief Financial Officer and Sustainability Lead at King’s, attended the Trust’s Clean Air Day event at King’s College Hospital and said:
"Air pollution affects every organ in our body and we know that the quality of people’s lives is impacted by the air they are breathing.
“As a Trust, we aspire to provide sustainable healthcare. Collaborating with our staff, partners and suppliers, we have developed a five-year sustainability programme to manage and reduce our environmental impact and deliver continuous sustainability improvement to our staff, patients and local residents.“I am delighted that so many of our patients and local residents joined us on Clean Air Day to find out how they can support us to deliver our sustainability ambitions and create a greener, more environmentally friendly community.”
For further information on the Trust’s sustainability strategy visit: