March 9 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Monday, February 24, 2014
Hospital staff and patients across east London are among people taking action to improve local air quality as part of Barts Health Cleaner Air Week, launching today.
There will be events taking place at The Royal London, Whipps Cross, Newham & St Bartholomew’s hospitals, offering practical information, interactive games and the opportunity for people to create a personalised action plan to protect themselves from air pollution and reduce emissions.
A spokeswoamn for Barts Health said east London doctors and nurses see first-hand the cardiac and respiratory problems caused by poor air quality. It is the fifth most common contributor to deaths in London, ahead of passive smoking and road accidents. This is why Barts Health NHS Trust and a range of other organisations have joined forces to improve the health of their patients and local communities.
Ian Basnett, Director of Public Health at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “Air pollution causes ill health and deaths from heart and lung disease. By working with communities, Barts Health will equip them with the information they need to minimise their risk. We will also commit to reducing our impact on air quality by changing how we use transport and reduce emissions.”
Cleaner Air Week, February 24 - February 28, marks the start of a three-year initiative. The Barts Health Cleaner Air Project aims to reduce air pollution within the local authority areas in which the Trust operates, reducing the number of patients admitted with air quality exacerbated health problems and cutting some of the 4,000 premature deaths that occur in London every year from poor air quality.
The project plans to create clean air zones around hospitals through introducing no vehicle engine idling policies, supporting suppliers to consolidate deliveries and helping staff, patients and visitors to make more efficient travel choices.