The growth in environmental awareness and its implications for the National Health Service

Gallagher, MJ 2002, The growth in environmental awareness and its implications for the National Health Service , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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The NHS is a large complex organisation employing almost one million people and with an annual revenue budget in 1999/2000 in excess of £40 billion. Responsible for a range of activities with the potential to cause environmental damage on a local, national and global scale, the NHS recognises its obligations to minimise the environmental impact of those activities. Although improving environmental performance is only one of the many issues and priorities which the NHS must address, it is considered particularly important for the following reasons: a. The NHS consumed approximately 1.6% of the total energy generated and energy consumption in English hospitals alone results in an annual emission of approximately 7.5m tonnes of CO2 b. NHS Trusts generate in the region of 100,000 tonnes of clinical waste each year c. In 1992, the NHS spent approximately £52m on water and sewage throughout England and Wales d. NHS Trusts spent in the region of £7 billion on purchasing goods and services in 2000. This thesis examines the growth of environmental awareness together with the adverse impact of modern living upon the environment, and particularly, the use of non-renewable resources. It reviews the systems available to assist organisations in managing their environmental performance and examines the limitations of the processes currently in use. The focal theory for the project involves an investigation into the integration of environmental management within the operational and strategic management of NHS Trusts. In particular, the study examines the political and cultural issues which prevent the NHS as a corporate body from improving its environmental performance. It considers the more centralised approach adopted by the UK Government since 1997 to the delivery of healthcare and the implications of this strategy on the environmental performance of the service. This includes the introduction of Control Assurance, a risk management system which requires all NHS organisations to focus on the range of issues including environmental performance. This centralised approach has been further reinforced with the introduction of a 15% energy reduction target for all healthcare organisations which must be achieved between 2000 and 2010. The project included a major case study which was undertaken between 1994 and 2000 the objective of which was to provide a detailed understanding of the approach adopted by one large acute hospital to environmental management. In addition, a national study involving 161 NHS Trusts was undertaken and the results analysed to provide quantifiable data in respect of a number of variables. The study involved a review of fourteen environmental parameters and in particular, focused on Trusts performance in eleven key areas. To further refine the data and to provide a more meaningful conclusion, a comparison was made between the environmental performance of those Trusts which had commenced the implementation of an environmental management system, with those that had not yet commenced the implementation process. Chapter ten evaluates the findings from the case study together with those of the national survey and draws comparisons between the results of the respective approaches. From an examination of the data, it is evident that there are significant similarities between the two studies and the conclusion reached following a detailed analysis included in

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Alexander, K (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 20:06

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