Health Services and Social Services

Department of Health written question – answered on 6th December 2017.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Labour, Cambridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment the Government has made of the resilience of the UK’s health and social care infrastructure to the effects of climate change.

Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Labour, Cambridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps the Government has taken to improve the resilience of NHS and care services to the warming of the UK's climate, the future frequency of adverse weather events and other potential effects of climate change.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government published the second Climate Change Risk Assessment in January 2017 and the report recognised that there was a continued increased risk to the United Kingdom’s health and social care infrastructure from extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change.

The main risks to health and social care infrastructure have been identified by the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change, as overheating of buildings and the risk of flooding. A number of different policies and plans will affect how risks to health, well-being and high temperatures can be managed in future. To assist planners, Public Health England publishes the Heatwave Plan for England to manage risks to public health and flood risk has been added to the Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation tool so that those responsible for resilience can understand the flood risk of their estate.

The Department of Health is working with Public Health England, NHS England, he Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Sustainable Development Unit to assess and address overheating, flooding and other risks to health and social care services. The results of this work will be published in the second National Adaptation Programme in 2018.

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