In an open letter to members of the UK’s NHS Trust, Sajid Javid, the Secretary for Health and Social Care for the current UK government has stated that: “The NHS must play [a vital role] in achieving our shared ambitions on climate change and the environment”.
The open letter links to the Dept. for BEIS’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and the NHS’s Net Zero Strategy, both of which contain digital transformation as key components in the fight against carbon emissions.
Emphasis was further placed within the letter on the role of the NHS in supporting a carbon-neutral initiative within the UK, with the launch of the COP26 Heath Programme being launched in order to create “the world’s first ever net zero building standard”.
Contained within the linked Net Zero report is a detailed digital transformation agenda, and how said agenda will be used to shape the future of the NHS towards carbon-zero emissions. The subsection, entitled “4.1.4. A digital, low-carbon transformation”, places emphasis on telehealth and web-based communication within the NHS, in addition to moving away from paper in what they term the “Digital First” agenda, designed to reduce waste and emissions by switching over to digital means of recording information.
Both Javid’s letter and the NHS report place high emphasis on collaboration and communication within this digital transformation process, mentioning sharing of resources and virtual events in order to assist with digital understanding. With this coming alongside the UK government’s pledge to decarbonize their electricity system by 2035, there are some big changes ahead in the UK’s future.