Remote hospital and GP appointments are “broadly” a good thing because they reduce pollution, the NHS’s eco chief has claimed. MailOnline has more.
Dr. Nick Watts said the health service slashed its carbon emissions by 276 kilotonnes last year “principally” because patients made fewer car journeys.
Thousands of operations were cancelled in 2021 and millions of people delayed coming forward due to fears about Covid. Most GP appointments were moved online or done by telephone.
In comments that risk fuelling a row over face-to-face appointments, Dr. Watts said remote care was “an intervention that should save carbon” going forward.
Britain’s top child doctor also said a wider move to online consultations could benefit poor families who can’t afford to travel during the cost of living crisis.
The comments were made at an annual NHS conference in Liverpool last week, during a talk chaired by Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee.
But Dr. Watts, NHS England’s chief Sustainability Manager, admitted hospitals had to do a “better job” at ensuring everyone who wants an in-person consultation can get one.
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