NHS to embrace CSR

The NHS is to become a better corporate citizen by looking at the ways it procures goods and services, manages its waste and runs its buildings.

Taken as a whole the NHS is among the largest employers in the UK and consumes a huge quantity of resources.

Recognising this and the positive impact a leaner, greener NHS could have Government has launched a web-based tool which will allow those in the health service to look closely at how they contribute to strong local economies, community cohesion and a healthy environment.

Every NHS organisation from the smallest doctor’s surgery to the sprawling city hospitals will be able to use the web-based tool.

The NHS Good Corporate Citizenship Self-assessment Model advices managers on how they buy goods and services, build and manage buildings and land, employment practices, manage their waste and transport, and how they work in partnership with others to contribute to healthy local populations.

Public Health Minister Caroline Flint said: “We know that the NHS can offer much more than just providing healthcare.

“By having this model available, we will offer NHS organisations a real opportunity to make a difference to their community and lead the way in good corporate citizenship.”

Five NHS organisations agreed to test the model. Half-day workshops were held at these trusts to gather feedback and input into the model, and to showcase good practice through developing a case study for inclusion in the final model.

The model was developed by the Sustainable Development Commission, headed up by veteran environmentalist Jonathon Porritt.

“As the largest employer in Europe, with massive expenditure, it’s vital that the NHS tackles health inequalities and environmental issues in its day-to-day activities.

“The good corporate citizenship model provides an excellent framework for NHS organisations to get to grips with this, and truly showcase sustainable development in practice.”

By Sam Bond

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