HC Deb 12 February 2004 vol 417 cc1697-8W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress of his Department's Sustainable Development Strategy over the last two years. [150210]

Miss Melanie Johnson

The Department's strategy on sustainable development and the environment is in line with the Government's overall sustainable development strategy, in which health ("expected healthy years of life") is one of the 15 key headline indicators.

The Department's strategy has provided the impetus for increasing awareness of the need to take sustainable development considerations into account as part of all of the Department's activities. It recognises the key importance of reducing inequalities in health. The main strategy is supported also by a separate operational environment strategy and by the development of the Department's Environmental Management System. These have helped the Department meet the requirements of the Government's "Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate".

The NHS Estates Agency (NHSE) and the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA)— both Executive Agencies of the Department— have their own sustainable development/environmental strategies in place. The NHSE has issued a "New Environmental Strategy for the NHS and Sustainable Development in the NHS" as guidance for the NHS. NHS PASA has a sustainable development policy which it published in February 2003. This policy describes the framework within which NHS PASA will conduct its activities in order to contribute towards global pursuits of sustainable development.

Further information can be found on the Department's website at www.doh.gov.uk/sustainabledevelopment. Details of the sustainable development activities of the agencies can be found at www.nhsestates.gov.uk (for the NHSE) and www.pasa.nhs.uk/sustainabledevelopment (for the NHS PASA).