Sustainable Primary Care

The course is intended as an overview of the field for primary care staff at any level who are new to sustainable healthcare. The training will help you to understand why sustainability matters, then help you to ‘green’ your practice using case studies from primary care, and offering tips and tricks for implementing sustainability improvements. The foundation courses also lay the groundwork for developing your skills further in the technical courses.

Please select one date:

  • Workshop: Tuesday 21 May 2024 [9.00-13.00 BST]
    • Self-study period opens: 23 April 2024
  • Workshop: Thursday 3 October 2024 [9.00-13.00 BST]
    • Self-study period opens: 5 September 2024

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

Pricing structure: £100 - £250 + VAT

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Course description

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) is a registered charity working since 2008 to help the health sector move toward environmentally sustainable healthcare practice. We are the world's foremost institution for sustainable healthcare research and practice. Our team draws on knowledge and experience from public health, clinical practice, environmental consultancy, research and public policy. Over the last decade, we have explored methodologies and metrics to transform models of care. We work with key partners inside and outside healthcare systems to engage professionals, patients and the wider community in understanding the connections between health and environment, and to reduce healthcare’s resource footprint. We support moving the net zero target for CO2 emissions to 2030. Sustainable healthcare delivers high quality care without damaging the environment, is affordable now and in the future and delivers positive social impact. Primary care is a huge contributor to the overall NHS carbon footprint, with the largest emissions coming from pharmaceuticals. Those working in General Practice are trusted sources of information, community members and run responsible small businesses. We show how sustainable changes often have huge co-benefits for patients and staff.  Primary care staff have the power to reduce their practice's environmental footprint whilst improving care quality.

This course is endorsed by 

Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe the risks the global environmental crisis presents to human health and healthcare systems.
  • Describe the contribution of the health sector, particularly primary care, to the global environmental crisis.
  • Understand the basic principles of climate literacy.
  • Understand how sustainability can help to address existing challenges in the healthcare system.
  • Apply the principles of sustainability to primary care.
  • Plan a project to improve the sustainability of healthcare in your workplace.

Course Structure

Part I.  Self-study online

Opening 4 weeks prior to the workshop this consists of 6 hrs of interactive online materials, presented in bite-sized chunks, covering all course content including background, theory, and case studies, with optional links to further information. 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. You can see a table of contents for the self study materials here.

It was informative and easy to understand and follow. Having everything laid out so clearly -- a mixture of text. diagrams, graphs, videos helped bring it to life and keep concentration. It really helped me consolidate my knowledge and feel prepared for the workshop. 

Amazing depth of information and resources”  “Bitesize chunks so easy to dip in & out of - v helpful when you have a busy life.

I found the material really interesting and it gave me a much better understanding of the scale of the issues.

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 address it, using the range of resources, tools and methods developed by CSH and partners.

I liked that the discussions were grounded in projects and tying into areas we can immediately effect and apply into our work.

Getting to speak to like minded people, hearing from those with experience and learning about their journey, inspiring and gives me the kick to make changes at my practice.

Networking with peers who are interested in making changes to how we practice to incorporate planetary health and are also GPs.

Inspirational and reassuring to hear everyone else’s actions and sense of urgency. On a practical level, I feel more knowledgeable on where to aim my work for greater impact and have been directed towards lots of useful information sources and initiatives.

Pricing Structure

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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 Pinto is a consultant addiction psychiatrist who leads our Net Zero Leadership training and sustainable healthcare courses. Hayley has a degree in psychology and completed general practice training before pursuing a career in psychiatry. She has 30 years’ clinical and teaching experience in the NHS and publicly funded services and is a member of Health for XR, Psych Declares and a speak for Greenpeace UK.

Nuala Hampson, Pharmacy Lead and Senior Educator

Nuala Hampson is a pharmacist and educator. She sets strategy for sustainable pharmacy initiatives and facilitates the Net Zero Leadership training and sustainable healthcare courses. Nuala has over 20 years’ experience of clinical pharmacy in primary care and over 15 years’ experience in postgraduate pharmacy education. She is a member of Pharmacy Declares, a group of climate-conscious pharmacy professionals in the UK and joint lead of the Greener Primary Care Pharmacy Association. She co-chairs the national Sustainability in Pharmacy Education group.

Dr 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. is external)

Dr Grace Singleton

Grace is a GP registrar based in the North East of England. She graduated from Glasgow University in 2012 and after initially training in general medicine moved to the GP training scheme in 2018. She is a Green Champion for the Faculty of Sustainable Healthcare in the North East and is a co-chair of Greener Practice North East.