Environmental sustainability in health and social care

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Read the final paper

The final paper, written by Chris Naylor and John Appleby, is now available to download or order:

Sustainable health and social care: connecting environmental and financial performance

Key highlights of our sustainability paper

Chris Naylor explains the highlights of the report with our audio-slideshow.

Why are we doing work in this area?

The NHS accounts for 25 per cent of public sector carbon dioxide emissions in the UK and is coming under increasing pressure to reduce its environmental impact. At the same time, the health and social care system is facing an unprecedented financial challenge.

The concept of sustainability can be helpful in addressing both of these imperatives. For example, innovative approaches taken by a number of health and social care organisations demonstrate that it is possible to improve efficiency from both a carbon and a cost perspective, while maintaining or improving the quality of care received by patients.

What did we do as part of this piece of work?

Although there is a growing evidence base around environmental sustainability in health and social care, there are many unanswered questions. The King's Fund worked with the NHS Sustainable Development Unit to establish what research is needed to support health and social care services in the UK in becoming more environmentally sustainable. The project involves three elements:

  • a review of published research
  • interviews with a range of experts in health, social care and sustainability
  • a survey.

The project is being supported by funding from the Service Delivery and Organisation programme (part of the National Institute for Health Research) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Who is the main contact for this work?

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