Climate change and extreme weather impacts on the health of communities and the provision of healthcare in a range of ways. Preparing and building resilience now will save costs, protect lives, and help deliver health outcomes. This is as important in London as it is anywhere: London has a high concentration of vulnerable groups, which are likely to be disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. The impacts of climate change will not be equal or fair, and are likely to increase existing inequalities unless we take action.
The workshop explored the issues pertinent to Health and Wellbeing Boards within the city, and shared the findings of our recent publication Linking environment and health: A resource for policy and decision makers working on Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 establishes Health and Wellbeing Boards as a forum where leaders from the health and social care system work to improve the health and wellbeing of the local population, and target the reduction of health inequalities.
Response to climate change at the local level will be vital in protecting the health and wellbeing of local communities, as well as building resilience internally. There will be widespread benefits for those who take action early on. A well-adapted health service and public health & social care system will be better prepared to cope with severe weather events, and better-placed to embrace opportunities for positive health outcomes in an uncertain climate.
The event was an opportunity for participants to explore the impacts of climate change in their local area, and empower them to take action in order to increase resilience and protect business continuity.
Local health & wellbeing in a changing climate – Agenda, 7 March 2013
David Pencheon, Director, NHS Sustainable Development Unit
Prof Virginia Murray, Head of Extreme Events, HPA
Jim Hodgson, Advisor, Climate Ready – Environment Agency
Will Day, Chair of event
Mark Butler, The People Organisation
London BACLIAT – Juliette Daniels, Partnership Manager, LCCP