Choosing Health is the first English public health strategy to highlight the concepts of corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship and discuss their importance for health improvement. Although the terms are used most widely in relation to private corporations, there has been growing discussion of their application to public sector organizations. The King's Fund report Claiming the Health Dividend led to a growing recognition that corporate citizenship within the National Health Service can make an important contribution to public health, regeneration, sustainable development and the reduction of inequalities - and a subsequent mapping exercise identified North West England as being one of the regions with a particularly well-developed approach. This paper introduces the concepts of corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship; explores the theoretical and policy contexts relating to its application within the NHS - discussing links to sustainable development, Investment for Health and healthy settings; provides an overview of work within North West England with a particular focus on development work carried out with Salford Primary Care Trust (exploring how it could develop corporate citizenship work, specifically in relation to employment, procurement and transport); and critically reflects on and discusses emerging issues in the context of wider debates on global public health.
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