BOSSES at Dudley health trusts have stressed they are working to cut carbon emissions after an investigation found nearly two thirds of NHS trusts are not on course to meet the Government's environmental targets.

NHS trusts were tasked with cutting emissions by 34 per cent by 2020, 50 per cent by 2025 and 80 per cent by 2050 - under the Climate Change Act 2008 - but more than 60 per cent in England are failing to meet targets, analysis from Newsquest's Data Investigations Unit has revealed.

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Russells Hall Hospital, is among the trusts not on track to meet the carbon reduction targets - data for 2017-18 from the Estates Returns Information Collection, published by NHS Digital, shows.

Stourbridge News: Russells Hall Hospital in DudleyRussells Hall Hospital in Dudley

While Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has no sustainable development management plan or carbon reduction plan - analysis has shown.

The mental health trust told the News it is, however, planning a number of initiatives to help meet its environmental obligations - having undertaken an audit to identify significant ways in which it can cut its carbon emissions.

A spokesman said: “As a result of this audit, and in line with a government grant, there are a number of initiatives that we plan to carry out in order to reduce our carbon emissions such as, installing solar panels, upgrading our boilers and introducing more LED lighting.

“Also, as part of our plans to merge with Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, all replacement or new fleet vehicles will be electric or hybrid where practical and our transport policy is currently being reviewed by a leading industry expert."

She said staff were also being encouraged to join in with schemes such as recycling and cycling to work and she added: "As a trust, we will continue to look at ways of reducing carbon emissions and we are extremely committed to contributing towards sustainability, in line with the NHS long-term plan.”

Stourbridge News: Dudley Group chief executive Diane WakeDudley Group chief executive Diane Wake

Dudley Group chief executive Diane Wake (pictured above) said the trust was "fully committed" to its environmental obligations and she added: "As a healthcare organisation, we fully support the carbon reduction scheme."

She said the trust rents the hospital buildings from Summit Healthcare (Dudley) Ltd as part of its PFI contract and added: "Summit is responsible for the energy efficiency of the hospital buildings and any investment required to make the buildings more energy efficient.

"We have a sustainability management group working with our PFI partners to reduce our carbon footprint. This will allow both the trust and Summit to implement solutions that will contribute towards meeting our carbon reduction targets."

Stourbridge News:

In 2012 the carbon footprint of the NHS, public health and adult social services was estimated at 32 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This represented 40 per cent of public sector emissions in England.

Two years later Public Health England and NHS England launched the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Health, Public Health and Social Care System, which described the vision for a sustainable health and care system.

The aim was a 34 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from building energy use, travel and acquiring goods and services by 2020.

Ellie Chowns, the newly-elected Green Party MEP for the West Midlands, said the NHS generates "the single largest share" of the public sector's carbon emissions and she added: "Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust must urgently address why they're not meeting their carbon reduction targets.

"We're already seeing more heatwaves sending more people into hospital - creating extra strain on our NHS."

The MEP said she was also due to meet with Dudley Council to urge the authority to account for its carbon footprint - and she added: "The public sector must be leaders in tackling the climate emergency."

The council has, however, just recently announced a plan to cut carbon emissions at local authority-owned homes and buildings in the borough after being awarded around £2.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund.

The authority will also contribute match funding from existing budgets to have smart thermostats installed alongside new gas boilers in nearly 1,000 council homes across the borough to cut down on emissions.

Stourbridge News: Dudley Council HouseDudley Council House

Buildings such as Dudley Council House in Priory Road (pictured above) are also likely to see improvements to make them more energy efficient, council chiefs say.