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NHS could help boost local communities, says King's Fund

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 18 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1178
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    The NHS—the largest employer and one of the biggest purchasers in the United Kingdom and a huge consumer of energy and creator of waste—could do far more to address the overall health and wellbeing of local communities, says a report from a group of leading academics.

    The NHS's potential impact on health, the environment, and the social and economic fabric of our lives is without parallel, says the report from the King's Fund, a leading think tank based in London.

    The report, edited by Anna Coote, the King's Fund's director of public health, says that the NHS needs to move away from what it terms “destructive cycles”—where resources are used in ways that are wasteful and potentially damaging to people's health and the environment.

    In their place, it says, should be a “virtuous circle,” whereby patterns of behaviour promote economic, social, and environmental sustainability and also improve health, especially among people …

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