Adaptation and resilience

Climate Change is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century, and the NHS must prepare for its increasing impacts in the future. Responding to and preparing for climate change now will be less costly and mean we are better able to deal with extreme weather events, including floods, droughts, and heat waves. 

Preparing for the impacts of climate change will also help us make better use of resources and reduce our carbon emissions. For instance, actions such as developing green spaces can help prevent overheating due to the cooling or shading effect of trees and may also help to prevent flooding by improving drainage. This type of action can in turn mean that we need to use less energy to cool buildings and can promote biodiversity. Green spaces also have the added benefit of promoting healthy activity and mental well-being.

All NHS organisations are expected to develop an Adaptation Plan as part of their Sustainable Development Management Plan (SDMP).  Guidance on developing such plans is available here.