NHS Scotland – Understanding Climate Risks and Developing Adaptation Plans

Location: Scotland                                       Client: NHS National Services Scotland


NHS Boards in Scotland have a legal duty to prepare for climate change with specific duties set out in Part 4 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. These specify requirements to deliver the statutory adaptation programmes in a sustainable way. In 2015, NHS Health Facilities Scotland identified the need for capacity building for its Boards to enable them to understand the climate risks they face, now and in the future, and how to develop adaptation plans.


We were commissioned by NHS National Services Scotland to provide a Climate Change Impact Assessment (CCIA) for the NHS Scotland estate. This involved desk-based research to inform the development of high-level assessments for each of the 22 Health Boards and 250 Flood Risk Assessments of NHS strategic sites (hospitals, health centres, GP surgeries and auxiliary buildings such as laundries).

We also facilitated workshops across Scotland with Health Boards to highlight the findings from the assessments and provide capacity building on conducting Climate Change Risk Assessments and the development of Adaptation Plans. The contract was extended in 2017, 2019 and 2021 to develop a Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning tool and provide support on understanding flood risk in more detail. This was supported by further workshops with NHS Boards.


The ongoing support to NHS Health Facilities Scotland has enhanced capacity across the Health Boards to understand the climate risks they are facing and to enable them to conduct their own Climate Change Risk Assessments and produce Adaptation Plans. This should help enhance the resilience of the NHS Scotland estate as well as ensuring the safety of its patients and staff.

Want to know more?

For more information about our work in providing Climate Change Impact Assessments for the NHS Scotland estate email Katie Chorlton.

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