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Sustainable Healthcare

ISBN: 978-0-470-65671-6
280 pages
February 2013, BMJ Books
Sustainable Healthcare (0470656719) cover image

Sustainable Healthcare sets out a vision for medical care of high quality, manageable cost and low impact on the planetary systems which sustain us.

In tackling the major challenges of our age, such as resource depletion, loss of biodiversity and climate change, health services can play a central role, moving from being part of the problem to becoming part of the solution. Sustainable Healthcare explores questions such as:

  • What is the relevance of sustainability in healthcare?
  • How does climate change threaten human health?
  • How can we create low carbon care pathways?
  • How can healthcare organizations deal better with their waste?
  • How can death and dying become more sustainable?
  • How can we engage ourselves and others with this agenda?

Written by an international team combining clinical, educational, practical and policy expertise in sustainability and health, this book provides a synopsis of our current predicaments, and explores some of the emerging solutions. Containing case studies and resources for further information and action, Sustainable Healthcare is a practical guide to making healthcare more sustainable for all healthcare professionals, managers and students.





“Once in a while one comes across a book that makes a deep impact. Sustainable Healthcare is such a book and very timely in the context of modern healthcare and developing green policies… The book is clear in ideas of critical thinking, scientific evidence and practical suggestions for transformative action… An additional strength in this book are the summary key papers and reports including key points from the chapters.  In addition, there is a comprehensive list of references in each chapter… The authors cut through the jargon and challenge the rhetoric of both fear and denial… The authors give examples of how we can engage with sustainability such as, diet and exercise, prescription management, contraception management and family planning and end of life care...  The book provides useful sources, references and key actions for individuals, healthcare organisations and policy making departments.”
- A  review by Prof Davinder Sandhu, Postgraduate Dean, Health Education South West, Severn Deanery, UK

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Preface, vii

Acknowledgements, ix

About the authors, x

Chapter 1 Greening the gaze, 1

Chapter 2 Climate science in context, 26

Chapter 3 Engaging with sustainability, 50

Chapter 4 A vision for sustainable healthcare, 72

Chapter 5 Low-carbon clinical care, 92

Chapter 6 Food for people and planet, 112

Chapter 7 Travel and transport: moving to better health, 138

Chapter 8 Healthy buildings, healthy spaces, 157

Chapter 9 Resource stewardship, 183

Chapter 10 The Green Death, 206

Chapter 11 The Green Academy, 223

Chapter 12 The journey towards sustainable healthcare, 244

Index, 259

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Knut Schroeder: General Practitioner, Concord Medical Centre and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Trevor Thompson: General Practitioner and Reader in Healthcare Education, Centre for Academic Primary Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Kathleen Frith: President, Glynwood and former Managing Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

David Pencheon: Director, NHS Sustainable Development Unit, East of England Strategic Health Authority, Cambridge, UK

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