A total of 10 hospitals in the most polluted areas of London are to be equipped with new air quality monitors.
Mayor Sadiq Khan made the announcement today after a recent study found 60% of hospitals and NHS facilities in inner London are located in areas that exceed the legal limit for air quality pollutants.
The monitors will provide real-time air quality measurements that will enable health professionals to take appropriate action to protect patients, visitors and employees.
For example, they could warn patients about high pollution incidents and advise which hospital entrances have the lowest levels of pollution.
The first monitor is already up and running at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, with others due to be installed shortly at The Royal London, Whipps Cross and Newham Hospitals, as well as Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital, Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital, among others.
The project is part of the wider ‘Breathe London’ programme, which aims to create the largest air quality monitoring network in the world.
Mr Khan said: “Vulnerable hospital patients are more susceptible to the harmful effects of our toxic air pollution health crisis that harms lung growth and is linked to asthma, cancer and dementia. I am working with London’s leading hospitals to install air pollution monitors and help find new ways to reduce pollution and protect patients.
“I’m doing everything in my power to protect Londoners from polluted air including cleaning up our bus and taxi fleet and establishing the largest air quality monitoring network of any major city. We are now counting down to the world’s first 24-hour seven-day-a-week Ultra Low Emission Zone in the central London congestion charge zone, which will help clean our air and reduce NOx road transport emissions in central London, including around many hospitals, by 45%.”
A project trialling backpacks with air quality monitoring sensors in five primary schools across London was also recently launched.