A surgical team at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has completed the first documented “net zero” operation in the NHS – with the patient discharged safely and recovering well from a keyhole procedure to remove a bowel cancer.

Performed at Solihull Hospital, the operation introduced several changes to the team’s normal practice:

  • Using reusable gowns, drapes, and scrub caps
  • Giving medications through the veins for general anaesthesia rather than anaesthetic gases, which have a strong greenhouse effect
  • Implementing a plan for minimising electricity use, including heating and lighting
  • Recycling of single-use equipment used in surgery, working with industry partners
  • Recycling of “clean” paper and plastic waste
  • Using individually packed equipment, and only opening items as they were required
  • One consultant surgeon ran to hospital, and the other cycled

This first net zero operation combines evidence-based approaches and documents using a carbon output calculator developed specifically for this task by experts, led by Dr Dmitri Nepogodiev, at the University of Birmingham. . .

Visit Research.UHB.NHS.uk for the full article.