Adaptation challenges for healthcare infrastructure in a changing climate
The paper aims to discuss the relationships between the phenomenon of climate change, and the requirement for adaptation for healthcare infrastructure. It discusses the climate change debate, and demonstrates the linkages between climate change and sustainability in the context of healthcare infrastructure. Refurbishment is proposed as the only realistic opportunity to incorporate adaptation requirements within the existing healthcare estate. The paper proposes that a practical and user-friendly decision support model is required to facilitate the selection of ‘best fit’ options that also satisfies the mandatory requirement to demonstrate value for money in capital spending.An extensive literature review was undertaken. An integrated approach to the dimensions of climate change, adaptation, sustainability, healthcare infrastructure, and decision-making requirements of the business case process has provided the contextual framework for the paper. The paper identifies the critical requirement to understand the issues of adaptation and decision-making in the context of scale. The success of a high-level healthcare infrastructure adaptation strategy, is shown as being dependent upon the success of the design and adaption decisions taken at facility level by the relevant clinical and design team actors. A simplified and integrated decision-support model is required to identify key criteria and measure preferable options.