The NHS has the biggest carbon footprint of the whole UK public sector, emitting over 18 million tonnes of CO2 per year. In an effort to help reduce costs, save lives and help reduce the carbon emissions of the organisation, a handbook providing guidance to key decision-makers in the NHS has been issued along with a letter from the President of UK Faculty of Public Health, Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, the Director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, David Pencheon, the Chief Executive of the NHS, David Nicholson, and the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, Steve Barnett.
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Despite homeopathic treatment prescribed by the NHS being at the request of patients, the practice has received criticism due to the total amount spent on the alternative therapy totaling £12 million across the UK over the last three years. The treatment is based on the theory that like treats like, and patients are prescribed minute doses of plant extracts diluted down that aim to treat the underlying cause of illness, rather than simply relieving the symptoms.