Who: Barts Health NHS Trust, the City of London and the London boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest
What: Air quality
Where: East London
Read: Action on Air Pollution report

The Challenge

Air pollution has a significant impact on health and the environment, causing over 9,000 premature deaths in London each year. The Barts Health Cleaner Air project set out to:

  • Improve the health of those who work and live in East London by reducing their exposure to air pollution
  • To reduce emissions from hospital sites and the surrounding communities
  • Work with clinicians to offer practical interventions that protect the most vulnerable patients from the impacts of air pollution. 

The project was funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund, GLA and DEFRA. It ran up to 2016.

For more information regarding the impacts of air pollution, GAP contributed to a 2016 study titled ‘Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution’. This research was conducted by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

How we helped

The project delivered five interventions to help improve air quality in the East London community

  1. Protecting Patients – Clinicians at Barts Health NHS Trust providing advice to vulnerable patients on how to reduce their exposure to air pollution. 
  2. Community Based Emissions – patients in Tower Hamlets receiving energy packs to help them stay Warm and Well in their homes over winter while also reducing boiler emissions, a cause of air pollution. 
  3. Breathing Spaces – creating green havens within the hospital ground.
  4. Active Travel – working with Barts Health staff to encourage them to leave their car at home and use other ways to get to work.
  5. Cleaner Fleets, Healther Streets – ERS Medical being proactive in improving air quality by reducing emissions from their own fleet vehicles.

The Impact

    • 100,000 reached with key air pollution messages in East London
    • 6,000 Air Pollution packs deployed 
    • Evidenced that use of health professionals to advise residents improved engagement by up to 33% 
    • Over 300 Barts Health professionals trained
    • Over 300 volunteers engaged

Barts Health have now compiled a report that looks at the implementation of the programme and makes recommendations on how the health sector can continue to tackle air pollution.

Click HERE to read Action on Air Pollution: Collaboration and Public Health at Scale.

To hear more about the range of sustainability initiatives that Barts Health NHS Trust is undertaking, click here.

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