Green Star Award for Dr. Cathy Lawson, Environmentally Sustainable Anaesthesia Fellow

Thursday, 26 September, 2019

Dr Cathy Lawson is the National Fellow for Environmentally Sustainable Anaesthesia for the Association of Anaesthetists and the Centre for Sustainable HealthcCare in collaboration with Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals. 

In her role, Cathy works towards implementing sustainable systems within anaesthesia, encouraging doctors and hospitals to consider their environmental footprint by considering alternatives to established practices.

In June this year, Newcastle Foundation Trust became the first in the health service to declare a climate emergency and they plan to be carbon neutral by 2040. Cathy  declared for The Guardian that reducing the use of Desflurane can make a real difference. “Since 2016, we have cut emissions from anaesthetic gases by 45%, through education about the environmental impact that our different gases have, supporting our colleagues to make informed choices about their clinical practice and using behavioural nudges to reduce unintentional use of our more harmful agents.”

For her work in reducing the carbon footprint, she and Ian Baxter (consultant anaesthetist working in Newcastle) won a Green Star Award  at this year’s Association of Anaesthetists Congress.

Cathy’s environmental stall at the Congress was extremely popular and the environmental session she together with the Committee ran had a huge turnover of few hundred people.

Another initiative devised by the fellowship is to build the Environmental Champions Network so that information can be shared. This initiative has been launched at the Association’s Annual Congress this month. Information and details on how to sign up can be found here.

Dr Lawson declared for The Herald: “We know that people are starting to embed sustainability and sustainable projects within anaesthesia and there’s been some really great work done and some really good ideas. What we hope the network will achieve is to help promote the work that people have done locally on a national scale so that people can see what projects have happened around the country and think they could do them too.”