It is easy to imagine a sustainable health and care system – it goes on forever within the limits of financial, social and environmental resources. The challenge is the current approach to delivering health and care cannot continue in the same way and stay within these limits.

A sustainable health and care system is achieved by delivering high quality care and improved public health without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage.

It may also be useful to think about the relationship between sustainability and health in three distinct ways moving from a narrow focus to a broad focus. The resources and guidance on this website focus on points 1 and 2.

A sustainable health and care system:

1 – Sustainable Health and Care Sector

This involves ‘greening’ the sector with particular attention to energy, travel, waste, procurement, water, infrastructure adaptation and buildings. This ensures resources (physical, financial and human) used in the sector are:

  • Used efficiently (e.g. buildings and homes are well insulated and use less fuel to heat)
  • Used responsibly (e.g. clinical waste is disposed of safely to protect local people)

Read more at SDU