Government guidance for health and care professionals on climate change
The UK Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) commissioned The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare to produce guidance for action on climate change mitigation for Public Health England’s All Our Health programme, which supports health and care workers, emergency services and the wider public health workforce to prevent illness, protect health and promote wellbeing.
This sends a clear and powerful message that the climate crisis is considered by the Government to be a key public health issue posing a serious risk to human health and wellbeing.
This guidance places the climate crisis among issues such as obesity, smoking and physical inactivity which the government identifies as priority areas where health and social care workers should be supported to use their knowledge, skills and relationships to protect and promote population health. Recognising the climate crisis as a major determinant of health in this way places climate action directly within the scope of health and social care work. Those working directly with patients, or within the wider health and care system at organisational or community level are supported through this guidance to understand and respond to climate change.
CSH collaborated with experts within wider government and public health agencies who provided key evidence and recommendations to be included. Cross-sector collaboration in this way is a hallmark of climate action-a broad and diverse range of actors are required to help us understand the complexities of climate change and its far-reaching consequences for health and wellbeing. This comprehensive guidance can be used by a wide range of health and care professionals to understand both how to reduce the negative environmental impact of their work, and how to address climate action as part of strategies to improve public health.
Victoria Stanford, Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Education Fellow:
"Bringing people together from across public health to produce this really comprehensive and practical guide was an inspiring experience. We hope it will serve as the go-to resource for health and care professionals who might be new to this topic, and show how they can take concrete action within their current roles."