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Rollout of Scheme to make NHS Operating Rooms Greener Hailed

The NHS in Scotland is rolling out a project that aims to cut the environmental emissions linked with surgery – while still ensuring patient safety.

Scottish Government minister Maree Todd hailed the changes being made under the Green Theatres programme as a "very positive step in the right direction", as the NHS works towards a target of achieving net-zero by 2040.

The changes will see a move away from the use of single-use items, as well as switching off heating, ventilation, and air conditioning out-of-hours.

To further tackle the high emissions currently associated with surgery, patients will be given paracetamol tablets ahead of their procedure, instead of being given the drug intravenously.

The New 'Green Theatre'

Ms Todd, the minister for social care, mental wellbeing and sport, found out more about the changes on a visit to a "green theatre" at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, which is part of the pilot project carried out by NHS Highland.

She said: "The rollout of the Green Theatres programme is a very positive step in the right direction to making our NHS net-zero by 2040.

"Our incredible NHS staff have worked tirelessly to develop a model that not only puts patients and their safety first, but will reduce our environmental impact."

Dr Kenneth Barker, the clinical lead for the national Green Theatres programme, said: "Our patients always comes first but it’s great that we are now making clinically safe patient care decisions with sustainability in mind.

"Theatres are high carbon and energy-intensive areas that produce high volumes of waste, so reducing their environmental impact will make a positive difference toward achieving Scotland’s net-zero targets."