4 week elective experience at CSH

My four-week placement at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare was incredibly educational and enjoyable. During my time I got involved in a number of different projects and was able to learn about many different aspects of the work they do.

To start off I completed their "Introduction to Sustainable Healthcare" course which gave me an overview of the issues at hand, as well as how their courses run. I then explored the networks and the work they do and was able to discuss with Stefi which areas I was most interested in to get the most out of my time with them. I joined a few of the networks that interested me, Psych net, Education for Sus Health and Primary care net, and spent some time going through the networks and checking all was up to date, as well as reading into any of the posts that interested me. I worked on a presentation for Frances to use at an international conference, speaking about Climate Change and Health.

Next I got involved in two projects: the launch of Green Health Wales and creating a Sustainable Kidney Care course. Green Health Wales is a new initiative set up by a a handful of NHS Wales staff who are passionate about sustainable healthcare. The launch is to be marked with a one-day conference which aims to educate and inspire Welsh health sector staff. I was able to sit in on some of the initial meetings the GHW team had with CSH where they discussed planning, event goals and logistics of the day. My main role was helping with the marketing and communications of the event, so it involved reaching key stakeholders to invite, managing the social media platforms and any general enquiries. The event is at the end of June and I will continue working with the team until then, and get to attend the event myself to see how everything has come together. It has been really interesting to witness how an idea is turned into reality, and how to take initiative and action to just go out, connect with like-minded others and start something, whilst trying to have as big an impact as possible!

The Sustainable Kidney Care course was a great way to delve deeper into the research behind sustainable healthcare, and I certainly learnt a lot about renal units along the way! Myself and another student were given a skeleton structure and outline to start with, and from this we brainstormed and created content we felt was important and relevant. We spent time reading the most up to date literature and case studies from around the world to include in the course materials. The process gave me an insight into healthcare education and allowed me to think critically about the most effective way to write educational content, something which I have no previous experience in. The next step now is for the initial draft to be reviewed by nephrologists, and from there we will work collaboratively to refine the content. I'm looking forward to seeing this through and seeing the final product.

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at CSH. Stefi has been very supportive and collaborative to ensure you can get the most out of the experience. This experience has allowed me to understand more about the workings of a small charity and how to instigate change from the bottom up. It was a great way to meet like-minded healthcare professionals too, and learn how I can carry sustainability into my future practice, with SusQI and more.

Victoria Lau

UCL Medical School, 4 week elective April-May 2021