Patient survey – Paediatric inhaler use and disposal

Date: 25/11/2021

At MKUH, we’re on a journey to providing more sustainable healthcare, as part of our ambition to be net carbon zero by 2030 and in alignment with the NHS’ objective to hit the same target nationally by 2040.

Across the country, the use and disposal of inhalers accounts for approximately 3% of the NHS’ total carbon emissions. The majority of these emissions come from the propellant in metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) used to deliver the medicine, rather than the medicine itself. Although as well as the gases produced, the plastic materials used to make inhalers, and the cardboard packaging, are all contributory factors.

To ensure that we can continue to provide inhalers in the most sustainable way possible for all of our patients and to contribute to lowering our carbon footprint, our Paediatric and Pharmacy team have developed a survey to find out more about inhaler use and disposal in Milton Keynes.

As we are now entering the season when we see a significant rise in the number children who require the use of inhalers, we are looking at how we can begin to issue and dispose of those medications in a more environmentally responsible way.

The survey has been designed to ask our patients (or their carer/guardian) about how they currently use their inhaler, as well as starting a conversation about the things that we could all do to make sure we are utilising our resources in the most effective and sustainable way possible. Your responses will help inform us about our current practice and how we can hopefully make things a little better.

Inhalers are used in a variety of respiratory conditions, ranging from asthma to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and we will continue to administer these in the most clinically effective way possible. Sustainability will not be at the detriment of patient safety and the purpose of this work is to understand how we can all make small (or possibly significant) changes to improve our environmental impact.

The survey will take about two minutes to complete and we will not capture any personal or confidential information. To complete the survey, please follow the link below:

Inhaler use and disposal – Parent and patient survey

Our aspirations to reduce our carbon emissions and create healthier environments for staff and patients requires collaborative working with all of our partners, both within healthcare and across our supply chain. To find out more about our #MKUHGreenerFuture plan, click here.

Thank you in advance for your time and support.