You are here: Sustainable Development in Government > News archive > Consulting on a new sustainable development strategy for health and social care

Consulting on a new sustainable development strategy for health and social care

NHS-SD-consultation-coverThe NHS Sustainable Development Unit is running a consultation and engagement programme on a new Sustainable Development Strategy for the health, public health and social care system to 2020.

SD Scene publishes news and comment on sustainable development from across government, business and civil society. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect government policy.

The NHS Sustainable Development Unit’s consultation and engagement programme on a Sustainable Development Strategy for the Health, Public health and Social Care System for 2014-2020 was launched on 29th January and is open until 31 May 2013.

In their joint foreword to the consultation document, NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson and Public Health England Chief Executive Duncan Selbie describe the scale and importance of the challenge:

“Assuring a sustainable health, public health and social care system is one of the greatest and most important challenges of our time and our vision and ambition should match the scale of these. We have a clear responsibility to take a leading role in tackling climate change and have a genuine opportunity to influence change for our patients, service users and the public. We must align, integrate, and coordinate a whole system approach to health and care which ensures the future is more environmentally, financially and socially sustainable.”

The consultation

The new strategy will be launched in January 2014 and will cover the period 2014 to 2020. Building on the Carbon Reduction Strategy the new strategy is not just for the NHS but embraces the whole health, public health and social care system. It will define where we need to be on the path to sustainable health care by 2020 and the measures and targets against which progress will be measured.

The consultation poses seven core questions with the opportunity to add general comments:

  1. Is a new strategy for sustainable development needed to coordinate and guide the next phase of action to 2020?
  2. Which elements of the health and care system should be included in the scope of the next strategy?
  3. Should the health and care system set itself challenging ambitions with regard to sustainability?
  4. Should sustainable development be measured more broadly than through carbon reduction only?
  5. What areas of sustainable development need to be prioritised in the next strategy?
  6. What areas of research need to be prioritised to enable a more sustainable health and care system?
  7. Are there any questions, issues and opportunities missing from this consultation document?

An introduction to the consultation outlines the questions in more detail and provides additional context for the consultation

Responding to the consultation

The NHS SDU is looking for a broad response from individuals, groups and organisations across all parts of the health and care sector. This includes patients, service users and communities, health and care partners in local authorities, and the third sector.

Respondents can complete an online consultation questionnaire available on the main consultation webpage.

Alternatively responses and comments can be submitted:

  • By e-mail to
  • In writing to Sustainable Development Unit, Victoria House, Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge, CB21 5XB

The SDU also invites examples of best practice or case studies that respondents feel should be implemented.

Engaging as broad a range of people as possible

The SDU is keen to ensure that the consultation reaches throughout the NHS and welcomes support and input to ensure that this happens. Respondents are encouraged to involve as broad a range of people as possible in developing organisational, network or sector responses. Individual responses are also welcome.

Running an event or several events will help people engage in the debate and feed into the process. This is a great opportunity to discuss these issues and to keep making progress towards a more sustainable health system. It is also an ideal opportunity for every organisation and system to revisit what sustainable development means for their set up and to take further pledges for action.

A range of materials is available to help communicate within organisations and encourage stakeholders to engage and respond.

Further reading

We haven't yet received any comments on this page.

Do you have a comment on this page?

All comments are moderated: we will not publish irrelevant or inappropriate comments. Please note that we require your email to validate your message and will not publish it or use it for any other purpose.