Think Tank

Low Carbon Innovation and the NHS

Knowledge Transfer Workshops for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Anglia Ruskin University has been awarded European Regional Development Fund monies to stimulate and support SME innovation in the East of England, focussing on the NHS supply chain and low carbon.

Catherine worked with the university's Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) to design a series of knowledge transfer workshops for participating organisations, running from Autumn 2013 to Spring 2015. These are exploring how SMEs can meet the expectations of the NHS, with respect to carbon reduction, and also stimulate the market for low carbon products and services in health. They are also considering how SME innovation can improve the efficiency and sustainability of the NHS through quality improvement.

Further expertise to deliver the programme is drawn from the Postgraduate Medical Institute (PMI) and Lord Ashcroft Business School (LAIBS). Additionally, partner organisations at national and regional level will be active contributors to the programme, including the Sustainable Development Unit for health, public health and social care (SDU), Essex County Council, NHS Trusts across the East of England, and UCL Partners Academic Health Science Network.

Valuing the Environment

Ethics of Sustainable Health and Social Care

As the first stage of an "Inquiry" into the economic and ethical implications of accounting for carbon in health and social care funding decisions, we co-hosted an expert seminar, funded by SCIE and in association with health think tank the King's Fund. Leading health economist John Appleby (King’s Fund) and Professor of Philosophy Jonathan Wolff (University College London) addressed an high profile audience of academics, policy-makers and practitioners. The event was chaired by Michael Parker, Professor of Bioethics and Director of Ethox, the multidisciplinary bioethics research centre at the University of Oxford.

With additional funding from the Department of Health, we began to develop a framework for decision-making which addresses the ethical challenges posed by a sustainable development approach to health and social care. This work spans health and environmental inequalities, inter-generational justice, and how to weight different social values in funding and policy decisions. Following an invitation-only seminar held at DH in May 2011, we published The Ethics of Sustainable Health and Social Care: Towards a Framework for Decision-making.

The project is ongoing in association with a range of partners including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Ethox where Catherine is jointly supervising research on this topic.

In July 2011, we brought together leaders in local government, the NHS and other sectors to discuss the opportunities and risks presented by the health and social care reforms for community wellbeing and environmental sustainability.

A downloadable publication Changing Climate, Changing Conversations builds on this invitation-only workshop and provides examples of local action to illustrate the significance of climate change to assessing need and tackling health inequalities, local leadership, managing risk and improving community resilience.

You may also be interested in our workshop presentation for the Healthy Communities legacy event (November 2011) and our short briefing note (available here).

Commissioned by Local Government Improvement and Development and delivered in partnership with Ben Cave Associates and Final Draft Consultancy.

Climate Change, Risk and Resilience

Lessons for Health and Social Care

  • What are the risks posed by climate change to health and social justice, and how widely are they understood?
  • Do the scale and timeframe of climate change lead to paralysis instead of action?
  • What changes are necessary to infrastructure, systems design and behaviour to respond adequately to these risks?
  • Are differing attitudes to risk a barrier to successful adaptation?
  • What can we learn from risk management strategies in different sectors and how can we share this learning?

We are exploring responses to risk in general and climate change in particular by bringing together experts from a wide range of sectors including health, social care, planning, security, transport and the insurance industry. This work is in connection with two major research projects under the auspices of the EPSRC Adaptation and Resilience in a Changing Climate (ARCC) programme:

Built Infrastructure for Older People’s Care in Conditions of Climate Change
Led by Professor Sarah Curtis, University of Durham.
Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate (DeDeRHECC)
Led by Professor Alan Short, University of Cambridge.

Environmental and Financial Sustainability

We contributed to a major scoping review by the King’s Fund to research what is known about environmental sustainability in health and social care and how action on sustainability can support the quality, productivity and prevention agendas. This work is linked to a collaboration with the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and others seeking to develop economic methodologies for health and social care which take account of environmental costs and benefits.

Sustainable Health and Social Care: Connecting Environmental and Financial Performance (King's Fund, 2012) makes the case to policy-makers for systemic change.

Environmentally Sustainable Health and Socal Care: Scoping Review is a more detailed version of the report, published by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in association with SCIE. It focuses specifically on the question of what research is needed to support the development of environmentally sustainable health and social care in the future and provides a framework for coordinating future research.

Evans et al

Download The Ethics of Sustainable Health and Social Care by Gary Cox and Catherine Max (SCIE 2011).

Read Catherine's article on this work for SDScene.
First do no harm? The Ethics of Sustainable Health and Social Care.

Changing climate

See Also ...

Sarah Curtis
Alan Short

Read the report of our cross-sector sympoisum, hosted by King's College London and ARCC, here.

You can watch a film about the DeDeRHECC project here. A shorter (10 minute) version is also available on youtube here.

chris-naylor

Listen to Chris Naylor sharing highlights from the King's Fund's research via this audio slideshow.

See Also ...

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