Members of staff from across the RD&E were keen to show their support for the Waking Up to Climate Change event held in RILD recently.
The event, hosted by the University of Exeter Medical School, was a joint collaborative between the RD&E, the University of Exeter, Devon Local Nature Partnership, and the NHS England and Public Health England Sustainability and Health Ambassadors for Devon. The conference aimed to explore how we can work together to create a more sustainable NHS in light of global climate change.
The conference looked at what climate change is and how it affects human health; how the NHS is responding locally, regionally and nationally; and the wider role of nature in health and disease. As well as many RD&E staff attending the day, the event also included several sessions run by RD&E staff including Renal Dietitian Nick McAleer, Energy and Sustainability Manager Luke Mitchell and Chaplain Revd Sheila Swarbrick.
Another highlight of the programme was a presentation from Key Note Speaker Professor Michael H Depledge, Chair of Environment and Human Health, the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School on Climate Change and Human Health.
RD&E Research Fellow Dr Tim Malone, who helped to organise the event, said: “The message from this conference was clear. Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time. How society chooses to respond now will have huge global ramifications for the health and wellbeing of our children, grandchildren and all future generations. All in the health and care sector have a special responsibility within society to care and respond appropriately to major threats to human health. As one of the most widely admired health systems in the world, the NHS has both a compelling legal and moral duty to respond to this challenge and an unprecedented opportunity for transformation to a truly sustainable model of health care provision. The time for action has never been more urgent.”