OHBP Background

Developed in 2017 in the Scottish Highlands, the One Health Breakthrough Partnership (OHBP) brings together key regional and national stakeholders across the water, environment, and healthcare sectors who are committed to addressing pharmaceutical pollution – an internationally recognised public health and environmental issue.

We have a key focus on addressing this issue through knowledge exchange, research and innovation, and cross-sector engagement.

This partnership aims to stimulate innovation and impact to help achieve optimal health for people, animals, and our environment, following a One Health approach.

Our Vision

A “Non-toxic environment

We are achieving our vision through:

  • “Up-stream” interventions to reduce inappropriate medicine disposal and encourage blue-green and social prescribing
  • Baseline work to understand the occurrence and impact of pharmaceuticals in the Scottish water environment
  • Supporting research into sustainable at-source treatment of the most polluted wastewaters
Our Mission
  • Improve healthcare practices and reduce environmental pollution
  • Influence evidence-based policy
  • Drive research and innovation
Our Partners

The OHBP steering group is made up of the National Health Service (NHS) Highland, the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) of the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scottish Water, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Find out more here.

Our Activity

The partnership has attracted over £300k of research funding from external sources including the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation Scholars Programme, European Social Fund, and Scottish Funding Council.

This has supported research activity into areas such as:

  • Monitoring pharmaceutical pollution,
  • Low-carbon and sustainable at-source treatment methods,
  • Eco-directed formulary development,
  • Blue-green and social prescribing, and
  • Antimicrobial resistance in the environment.

Check out our Outputs page to read more about our pioneering work.

Together we are looking to develop sustainable “up-stream” solutions to minimise pharmaceuticals entering wastewater and surface water, and reduce the environmental impact of our healthcare practices. Thus benefitting society, the economy, the environment, and contributing to net-zero and sustainability targets in Scotland.

OHBP significance to Scotland

Our work aligns with the Scottish National Performance Framework Outcomes and strategies for the environment, climate change, and energy. The OHBP and it’s individual organisations support the Scottish Government strategic priority to create a greener, healthier, and more successful country with opportunities for all to flourish through increasing sustainable economic growth and future-proofing services. 

Alongside the climate emergency, the Scottish Government has recognised that the enormous challenges brought by Coronavirus reinforces the need to build an economy “that supports Scotland’s wellbeing and transition towards a greener, net zero country”. Through our work to reduce environmental pollution, protect natural resources, and promote sustainable healthcare practices, the OHBP is contributing to Scotland’s Green Recovery plan.

We are engaging closely with the Scottish Government to assess the need for a policy framework on pharmaceuticals in the Scottish environment. Through this collaboration, we look to establish and foster a hub of expertise and activity in the One Health field that will offer services and advice to develop evidence-based policy, and promote Scotland as a global leader in this field.