A group of London hospitals are being equipped with air quality monitors as part of the Breathe London programme.
The first has already been installed at St Bartholomew’s Hospital (pictured), with nine others to follow at the Royal London, Whipps Cross, Newham, Great Ormond Street, the Royal Free, Guy’s, St Thomas’ and other NHS sites.
They are part of the mayor’s programme to set up a comprehensive network of air quality monitors around the city to help investigate and improve the state of the local atmosphere.
The announcement has come shortly after the news that children at a handful of primary schools will carry monitors in their backpacks as part of the research effort.
It follows the recent publication of research by King’s College London and the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change showing that 60% of hospitals and NHS facilities in inner London are located in areas that exceed the legal limit for air quality pollutants.
The mayor of London’s office said the sensors will provide NHS staff with information about air pollution so they can give patients the appropriate advice, and enable the hospitals to measure the impact of steps they take to improve air quality. Also, researchers will be able to assess air pollution concentrations alongside patient records.
Martin Shaw, chief executive at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), said: “As a specialist children’s hospital, we see a number of patients in our hospital who are impacted by air quality.
“The ability to get real time air quality data will mean patients and staff will be able to make informed decisions about how they can help reduce their exposure to poor quality air. The project compliments delivery of the GOSH Clean Air Hospital Framework, a pioneering strategy aimed at creating a healthy environment for patients, staff and the surrounding community.”
Image by pandrcutts, CC BY 2.0