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Air quality monitor to be installed at John Radcliffe Hospital


Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham, in partnership with the University of Oxford, have announced plans (Thursday 8 October 2020) to install an air quality monitor at the John Radcliffe Hospital. 

Positioned outside the Emergency Department at the Oxford hospital, the monitor will collect live data on levels of fine and coarse particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide and ozone.

The data will be used to understand impacts of transport and mobility changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and to generate a series of future air quality control scenarios and predicted health benefits. This will help inform local councils on air quality and climate strategy.

This research project is an 18-month COVID-19 urgent response study, funded by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) that will include over 40 air quality, noise and smart roadside sensors across the City of Oxford feeding live data back to the research team. 

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer, said: "We are delighted to participate in this valuable research project. Illnesses and deaths from air pollution are sadly increasing and therefore any data that can be collected to inform and improve public health is very important to us.

"The data that these monitors provides should also be extremely helpful for us to inform future transport and development on the John Radcliffe site."

Dr Suzanne Bartington, Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, said: "Air pollution is the largest environmental risk to health in the UK and the NHS has a key role in protecting health and minimising impacts on the environment.

"Our study provides novel air quality information at sites that are not currently monitored in Oxford City and will help inform practical actions to improve air quality and, therefore, public health."

The announcement of the installation comes on Clean Air Day (Thursday 8 October 2020), the UK's largest air pollution campaign.

Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK. Clean Air Day is engaging thousands of people at hundreds of events, and reaching millions more through the media. See the Clean Air Day website for more information.

To coincide with Clean Air Day, NHS England and Improvement has announced that the NHS has adopted a multiyear plan to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system.

Details on delivering a Net Zero health service are explained in a new report. It sets out the advances the NHS has already made in improving our carbon footprint and provides a clear plan with credible milestones to get there.