The Health and Care Act 2022 has passed into legislation duties and powers across NHS England to act on the climate and ecological crisis.

The commitments in the bill come after health leaders urged for amendments to be incorporated in the Health and Care Bill to ensure the health and care services that people turn to during ill health, is not one of the major contributing factors to that ill health.

With the commitment to respond to the climate crisis in the Health and Care Bill, NHS England can now lead the way in achieving this.

Writing to the Secretary of State for Health and Care in February this year, we said:

“We urge you to embed commitments to net zero within the Health and Care Bill. All legislation that passes through the House should take into consideration the fact that we are in the midst of a climate emergency. The NHS is responsible for around 40% of public sector emissions and the role it needs to play to deliver the UK’s climate change and environment goals should be strengthened in law. A strong framework in legislation shows leadership from government and will help to integrate an active response to climate change through every layer of the NHS, including the new Integrated Care Boards.”

We welcome the passing of this legislation today.