National Clean Air Day - A statement from Camden and borough hospitals

17 June is National Clean Air Day, the UK’s largest air pollution campaign. It is also the date by when the parties named in the inquest into the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah must respond to the coroner’s recommendations.

The coroner called upon Government, local authorities and the medical sector to step up efforts to improve air quality to prevent further loss of life, by adopting stricter pollution targets and improving public information about the health risks of exposure.

We have a long way to go; air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health and each year 36,000 deaths in the UK are attributed to exposure, with many thousands more experiencing a lower quality of life due to toxic air.

This crisis demands coordinated effort from policy-makers, public services, businesses and individuals to make the collective and individual changes to help reduce air pollution.

Camden Council and hospitals in the borough are taking action to improve air quality and protect health. Camden was the first local authority to adopt the stringent World Health Organization air quality standards. Great Ormond Street Hospital developed the first Clean Air Hospital Framework with Global Action Plan – the charity behind Clean Air Day – and this framework for air quality improvement is now being rolled out at the Royal Free Hospital and UCLH.

There is much more that needs to be done, and at this pivotal moment for air quality Camden Council, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital and UCLH state our commitment to doing all we can to realise the coroner’s recommendations and tackle the air quality health crisis. Collectively we commit to:

  • step up our efforts to raise public awareness about the health risks imposed by air pollution
  • work together to ensure that patients are provided with information about air pollution and how they can protect themselves from it
  • continue to tackle air pollution in Camden by reducing emissions from road vehicles and buildings

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden

Matthew Shaw, Chief Executive, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Caroline Clarke, Group Chief Executive, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Tim Jaggard, Acting Chief Executive, UCLH