Published on: 7 October 2022

Eight Derbyshire Healthcare colleagues set off on a bike ride yesterday (Thursday 6 October) to join other healthcare professionals in calling for action on the climate crisis and air pollution.

The eight riders, from a range of different Trust teams, cycled 12 miles – from Kingsway Hospital to Mickleover, then on to Radbourne before returning to Kingsway.

They then met with other healthcare professionals who had taken part in cycle rides in different parts of Derby and Derbyshire, all looking to demonstrate their concern about climate change and promote the development of more sustainable, healthier communities.

In the UK, air pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health with the annual mortality of human-made air pollution is equivalent to between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year.

It is estimated that, between 2017 and 2025, the total cost to the NHS and social care system of air pollutants will be £1.6 billion.

Ride for their Lives 2022 highlights how travelling actively mitigates climate crisis-based harm as well as child deaths and injuries, plus diseases linked to a sedentary lifestyle such as type two diabetes, depression and some cancers.

The initiative aims to promote active travel to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions as well as ways to improve a city’s health by promoting regular exercise.

Kimberley Peters, Transformation Project Manager at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Ride for their Lives was a great opportunity to come together with other healthcare providers across Derbyshire and demonstrate our commitment to tackling climate change. Approximately 20 staff covered 250 miles of cycle rides in Derby and Chesterfield to promote active travel, and then joined a discussion event to share ideas on how we can work together to protect against climate-based harm, such as poor air quality.

“This event will build on Derbyshire Healthcare's Green Plan and support our colleagues to deliver sustainable healthcare and start to address the link between the climate crisis and poor health outcomes.”

The NHS has a responsibility to deliver sustainable healthcare and deliver the NHS Net Zero ambition by 2040.

Other rides are also set to take place across the UK, and campaigning material produced from the event will be taken to the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 meeting in Egypt on 7-14 November.

Read more about the Ride for their Lives campaign on the Climate Acceptance Studios website.