Introduction to Sustainable Healthcare

This foundation course offers an overview of the relationship between health, the health sector and the climate and ecological crises. How is the health system both vulnerable to and contributing to climate change and ecological degradation? What would a sustainable health system look like? What might the wider benefits be and how can we achieve this? The course also highlights the leadership role healthcare staff can play in providing healthcare for all within planetary boundaries.  

Please select one date:

  • Workshop: Wednesday 6 December [13.00-17.00 GMT]
    • Self-study period opens: 8 November
  • Workshop: Friday 26 January 2024 [9.00-13.00 GMT]
    • Self-study period opens: 29 December 2023
  • Workshop: Thursday 22 February 2024 [13.00-17.00 GMT]
    • Self-study period opens: 25 January 2024
  • Workshop: Thursday 7 March 2024 [13.00-17.00 GMT]
    • Self-study period opens: 8 February 2024
  • Workshop: Thursday 25 April 2024 [13.00-17.00 BST]
    • Self-study period opens: 28 March 2024
  • Workshop: Thursday 2 May 2024 [13.00-17.00 BST]
    • Self-study period opens: 4 April 2024
  • Workshop: Tuesday 21 May 2024 [9.00-13.00 BST]
    • Self-study period opens: 23 April 2024
  • Workshop: Wednesday 26 June 2024 [13.00-17.00 BST]
    • Self-study period opens: 29 May 2024

If you have booked on a course click here for access.

Pricing structure: £95 - £250 + VAT

book here button

Course description

Our foundation courses offer an overview of the field for health and social care staff at any level who are new to sustainable healthcare. This training course will help you to understand why sustainability matters and use NHS case studies to develop the tools to implement sustainability projects in your area.

Sustainable healthcare delivers high quality care without damaging the environment, is affordable now and in the future and delivers positive social impact. This course outlines a vision of a sustainable health system based on planetary health principles with a broader focus on health creation at a population level. Health systems consume enormous quantities of materials, energy, chemicals, and water, and they produce vast amounts of waste, much of it toxic. A more efficient and sustainable health system would not use resources in a way that adversely affects the health of the population or prevent tomorrow's health professionals from providing care. Sustainable healthcare can also make a significant contribution to the carbon reductions required by the Paris Agreement, the NHS net zero commitments and the wider UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 This course is endorsed by 

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  1. Describe the risks the global environmental crisis presents to human health and healthcare systems.
  2. Describe the contribution of the health sector to the global environmental crisis. 
  3. Understand the basic principles of carbon literacy.
  4. Understand how sustainability can help to address existing challenges in the healthcare system.
  5. Apply the principles of sustainability to healthcare services.
  6. Plan a project to improve the sustainability of healthcare in your workplace.

Course Structure

Part I.  Self-study online

Prepare for the workshop at your convenience using our interactive online self-study module, presented in bite-sized chunks. You will need about 6 hours to complete the self-study materials, which cover all course content including background, theory, and case studies, with links to further information depending on your level of interest. Discussion points throughout the module allow you to reflect on your learning and start to get to know fellow participants and their areas of interest and work. At the end of the module, you are invited to sketch out a plan for a sustainability project you might want to undertake, in preparation for the workshop discussions. The self-study module opens 4 weeks before, and remains available to you for 6 months after, the workshop. You can see a table of contents for the self study materials here.

intro quote

Part II.  Live workshop online

The 4 hour virtual workshop consolidates your understanding of the course materials. Small group discussions with CSH experts and colleagues from around the world allow further exploration of topics that interest you and tips on how to translate your ideas into action. The timetable includes pre-session technical assistance and networking, followed by a review of the self-study material with Q&A.  In breakout groups, you will then share your ideas for a sustainability intervention in your setting and make plans to develop it, using the range of resources, tools and methods developed by CSH and partners.

intro quote 2

Part III.  Mentoring

After completing the self-study materials and online workshop, you are invited to attend our online Sustainable Healthcare Cafés. The 1 hour cafes occur regularly throughout the year and  offer ongoing support for you to put your learning into practice. They are a friendly, informal setting in which to:

  • Get support for sustainability projects from peers and CSH staff
  • Make connections with others bringing sustainability projects into their workplace

You are welcome to continue attending Cafes as many times as you wish. Upcoming dates are available here and will also be emailed out to you with your certificate of completion after the workshop.

Pricing Structure

book here

Book a course with peace of mind: We realise that healthcare workers may have to change their plans at short notice. If you are unable to attend a workshop, we can offer you a workshop at a later date for no charge. We can also offer a refund as long as you cancel before the course opens for self-study, which is 4 weeks before the workshop. There will be an admin fee of £30 for refunds.


Courses are facilitated by experts drawn from the faculty below:

Dr Hayley Pinto, Education and Training Lead

Hayley was a lead consultant addiction psychiatrist with nearly 30 yrs experience in the NHS and publicly funded services.  She is a medical educator, and currently senior honorary lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and has been involved in climate education, outreach, and activism for several years. Hayley also has a degree in psychology and completed general practice training before pursuing a career in psychiatry. 

Nuala Hampson, Lead Facilitator for Education

Nuala Hampson is a pharmacist with a background in education, general practice and, more recently, sustainable healthcare. Nuala has worked as a clinical pharmacist in general practice for over 20 years and postgraduate pharmacy education for 15 years. Nuala is passionate about sustainability and enabling others through positive action. She is the sustainability champion at the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, focusing on encouraging individual and organisational change, and is a member of Pharmacy Declares, a group of climate conscious pharmacy professionals based in the UK. Nuala is currently the Lead Facilitator for Education at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.

Rachel Stancliffe, Founder and Director

Rachel worked on public health initiatives in the UK, Georgia and Kazakhstan before helping to develop The Cochrane Library during the first decade of its life. She has a Human Sciences degree (Oxford) and a Master’s degree in demography and epidemiology (London School of Economics).

Dr Rosie Spooner 

Rosie is a Paediatric Trainee (St5) in Severn Deanery and CSH QI Education Fellow (2020-2021), working with universities and postgraduate education programmes to support the integration of sustainable healthcare into Quality Improvement teaching. She comes from a background in environmental activism, successfully lobbying the RCPCH to declare a climate emergency and established a hospital allotment society whilst a medical student in London.

Amelia Anderson, Midwife

I work as a midwife in east London based in the community setting, whilst also studying part-time for my second BSc in Environmental Science, focusing on management and sustainability. Having worked within the NHS for the past 10 years, I have developed a new passion for sustainability in healthcare having seen the lack of general awareness of its importance within clinical practice.

Dr Grace Singleton

I attended the CSH ‘Introduction to Sustainable Healthcare’ course and have felt inspired ever since - turning my longstanding climate frustration into something more productive. I graduated from Glasgow University in 2012; after initially training in general medicine I moved to the GP training scheme in 2018. My training has been punctuated by the arrival of 2 small children who have galvanised my desire to act on the climate emergency.  

Tamsin Ellis

Tamsin is a GP in London who helped design and write the sustainable primary care course. She is a director and co-chair of Greener Practice (the UK’s primary care sustainability network). She has previously worked as a primary care net zero clinical lead for North Central London Integrated Care System (NCL ICS) and has worked with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), Health Education England (HEE) and Greener Practice to deliver primary care planetary health training. She works as an associate at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. You can find out more about her work: (link is external) (Twitter Climate_GP).


Dr Katherine Kennet

Katherine is a psychiatrist and Social Prescribing Lead at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She has an interest in health policy with a focus on environment and sustainability as social determinants of health, social justice and equality.  She has authored several book chapters and Royal College of Psychiatrists position statements on this subject and presents regularly on sustainability and mental health. 


Rachel McLean, Green Ward Programme Manager

Rachel currently leads the CSH Green Ward Competition, coaching healthcare teams to identify, plan, run and measure sustainable quality improvement projects targeting improved patient care, staff experience, environmental and financial outcomes. Rachel has degrees in psychology and speech pathology. She previously worked as a speech and language therapist in London Hospitals, specialising in neonatal therapy and parent coaching.

Dr Pip Clery

Pip is a Core Psychiatry Trainee in North Central London and an Academic Clinical Fellow at University College London. She has been involved in Sustainable Healthcare Education and teaching Sustainability in Quality Improvement (SusQI) since 2019, working with the CSH to integrate SusQI teaching for medical students into the medical curriculum at the University of Bristol and in the Severn Deanery for Foundation Doctors. She is also is involved in climate activism and is the Education Lead on the Royal College of Psychiatrists Planetary Health and Sustainability Committee. 

Stefi Barna, Education Director

Stefi is a global health academic with a background in history. She taught planetary health at Queen Mary University of London and  public health at Norwich Medical School.