Greener Operations Priority Setting Partnership

Peri-operative practice and why it needs to be ‘greener’

Peri-operative practice relates to care during and around the time of a operation. It covers care during the operation itself, as well as care before and after a surgical procedure – including consultations before an operation, and hospital care after an operation.

Climate change has been identified as a health emergency that, according to former NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens, “poses the most profound long-term threat to the health of the nation”, yet healthcare itself makes a substantial contribution to global warming and environmental pollution.

Operations are among the most resource-intensive healthcare interventions; each operating theatre creates around two tonnes of waste per year, and a single operation can generate a ‘carbon footprint’ equivalent to driving more than 2,000 miles. The NHS, which is responsible for four per cent of the UK’s national carbon footprint, has committed to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2040, with an interim 80 per cent reduction in emissions by 2032.

To achieve this target, peri-operative practice needs to become more environmentally sustainable, or ‘green’, in the future.

Healthcare professionals based at Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) therefore joined with the James Lind Alliance (JLA) to set up a Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) focusing on sustainable peri-operative practice.

The James Lind Alliance and PSPs

James Lind Alliance Logo

Funded by the NIHR, the James Lind Alliance (JLA) is a non-profit making initiative which brings patients, carers and clinicians together in Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs). The PSPs identify and prioritise the Top 10 unanswered questions or evidence uncertainties that they agree are the most important. The aim of this is to make sure that health research funders are aware of the issues that matter most to the people who need to use the research in their everyday lives.

The aim of our ‘Greener Operations PSP’ was to form a collaboration with patients, carers, healthcare professionals and the broader public to find out what are the most important areas to research to make operations more environmentally sustainable.

Using surveys to gather input from all those affected by surgery, we developed a Top 10 list of research priorities.

Future researchers can use this list of Top 10 priorities to undertake projects that align with what matters most to everyone involved in peri-operative practice.

Below you can find further information about the project and the Top 10 list of research priorities, in our ‘Survey and results’ section.

Get in touch

If you would like to contact us about our work, please email or

Follow us on Twitter at @SusPeriopPSP for further information.