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Health services need to become more sustainable say researchers

Front cover of Sustainable Healthcare

Front cover of Sustainable Healthcare

Press release issued: 7 December 2012

Health services need to do more to tackle climate change and resource depletion if they are to cope with the soaring prevalence of chronic illness say the authors of a new book.

Health services need to do more to tackle climate change and resource depletion if they are to cope with the soaring prevalence of chronic illness say the authors of a new book.

Sustainable Healthcare addresses the consequences for human health and healthcare system that may arise from climate change and loss of biodiversity, such as extreme weather events, and suggests new ways to make the sector more sustainable.

Combining clinical, educational, practical and policy expertise, the international team of authors suggest more ways to deliver a sustainable healthcare system that will help providers become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Aimed at those working within the health care industry the authors show new systems of clinical care that maximise efficiency and minimise resource use and reduce the creation of waste products (including greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants) that contribute to environmental change.

Dr Trevor Thompson, Reader in Healthcare Education at the University of Bristol and one of the book’s authors, said: “There are clearly more sustainable ways of doing things in the health sector, which are well worth the effort for the benefit of current and future generations. 

“Who would have thought even ten years ago that in many countries smoking would be banned in public places? A similar shift in public policy and human behaviour, involving innovative technology and better models of care, needs to happen to develop health systems that can sustain us through the challenging decades ahead.”

Sustainable Healthcare explores how climate change threatens human health, how healthcare organisations can deal better with their waste, how death and dying could become more sustainable, and the relevance of sustainability in healthcare. The book offers a practical guide to making healthcare more sustainable for all healthcare professionals, managers and students.

An event to mark the book’s publication on the 23 December 2012 will be held on Thursday 13 December at 5 pm in Canynge Hall, University of Bristol, Whiteladies Road, Clifton. The book is published by Wiley-Blackwell and is available to pre-order on Amazon ISBN-10: 0470656719, ISBN-13: 978-0470656716.

You can find out more about Dr Trevor Thompson's latest Cabot Institute-funded project 'Priority learning outcomes for sustainable medical education' on the Cabot Institute website.

 

Further information

The Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol carries out fundamental and responsive research on risks and uncertainties in a changing environment. Our interests include natural hazards, food and energy security, resilience and governance, and human impacts on the environment. Our research fuses rigorous statistical and numerical modelling with a deep understanding of interconnected social, environmental and engineered systems – past, present and future. We seek to engage wider society – listening to, exploring with, and challenging our stakeholders to develop a shared response to 21st Century challenges.