A HOSPITAL trust in Southampton has hit back at claims it is failing to meet carbon reduction targets.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) said they are on course to meet a 34 per cent reduction for energy carbon emissions by 2020.

The news comes after new data have revealed that more than 60 per cent of NHS trusts are not on course to meet the Government’s carbon reduction targets.

According to figures published by  NHS England  and collated by Newsquest’s Data Investigations Unit, UHS had no sustainable development management plan (SDMP) or carbon reduction plan between 2014 and 2018.

But the trust hit back saying a carbon reduction plan has been in place since 2013 and UHS will make enquiries with NHS Digital to ensure their documentation is up to date.

However, it confirmed that UHS did not have a new SDMP between 2014 and 2018 but said it had one before 2014 and a new one is being drawn up.

SMDP are plans to reduce waste, unnecessary spend, contribution to improving local air quality and adapting services to accommodate climate change.

The trust said it does have annual sustainability management plans.

Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith said it is a relief to see that UHS have plans to reduce carbon emission.

The news comes after in June Southampton City Council launched the Green City Charter in a bid to tackle air pollution in the city.

Following the recent data, Councillor Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and environment, said “Our vision is to create a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable city. Engaging with businesses across Southampton, including the hospital, and we are delighted that so many pledged support for the vision when the Charter was launched in June. We will continue to work with key businesses to ensure that we meet the ambitious, challenging goals we have set. ”

A spokesman for UHS said the trust has reduced its energy carbon emissions from 29,419 tonnes to 21,759 tonnes over a ten-year period up to 2018-19.

He added: “Over this time we have seen the introduction of better recycling processes, more energy efficient technology, a reduction in travel emissions through varied sustainable transport options, less water wastage and the appointment of sustainability champions throughout the organisation.

“We will continue to invest in energy saving initiatives and staff awareness campaigns that focus on promoting sustainability to help us reduce our carbon footprint even further.

“We are currently undertaking a sustainable development assessment across UHS to help understand where progress has been made and to highlight areas that require further focus ahead of the development of our next sustainable development management plan as we work to meet future targets.”