Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saving the planet

Kidney disease sufferers and hard-pressed taxpayers generally will be delighted to learn that NHS Kidney Care is funding a one-year "Green Nephrology Fellowship" for a Specialist Registrar (SpR) to work on "sustainability in kidney care".

So it was that in September 2009, Andrew Connor was appointed to the post. He has been seconded to The Campaign for Greener Healthcare (which is in part funded by the NHS) and has been receiving training in project management and clinical systems improvement.

Apparently a qualified physician, he is no longer wasting his time treating patients. Instead, he is now working with renal units "to look at existing approaches that aim to reduce carbon emissions, and to develop sustainable models of kidney care," busily "undertaking carbon modelling of clinical pathways."

The cost of this one-year project, we are told, is a mere £135,700.00, including VAT and a provision for £20,000 for "footprinting work".

However, this is not the end of it. Further projects include an analysis of the carbon footprint of kidney care, a survey of current sustainability within renal units and collaboration with the renal industry – at a cost so far undisclosed.

Nevertheless, one is so pleased that the NHS has given up on the boring old task of saving patients' lives and is increasingly concentrating its scarce resources on saving the planet – a far more worthwhile venture.