The Government of Wales Act 2006 places the promotion of sustainable development at the heart of the Welsh Government's work. In their new Sustainable Development Scheme, One Wales: One Planet (2009), Welsh Ministers make it clear that they see sustainable development as 'the overarching strategic aim of all our policies and programmes, across all Ministerial portfolios'. Sustainable development will be 'the central organising principle of the Welsh Government and of the public sector in Wales'.
This has far-reaching implications for all organisations in the NHS. The Scheme identifies two immediate actions relating to health -
Action 13: We will invest £190 million in public health and health improvement through the Public Health Strategic Framework for Wales 'Our Healthy Future' which will improve quality and length of life and improve equity in health.
Action 14: We will ensure that sustainable development will be made a core objective for a restructured NHS in all it does, by giving clear duties to the new bodies to demonstrate best practice in planning and design, building, transport, waste management, and in use of energy and water.
NHS bodies will be required to take a full part in meeting the government's commitments on sustainable development.