Remembering Donal

Tuesday, 19 January, 2021

We are INCREDIBLY sad to hear of the death on Jan 3rd of Donal O’Donoghue, Registrar at the Royal College of Physicians, from Covid-19 after a very brief period of illness from mid-December on.  

Donal was introduced to us in 2008, early in the life of our charity, and was immediately supportive of the new ideas we put on the table. He became one of the first champions of sustainable healthcare and continued to support green nephrology and The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare all through the years. During his time as National Clinical Director, through NHS Kidney Care, he funded the first 'Green Nephrology Fellow', and thereby pioneered the first sustainability work in any specialty and launched a real commitment to sustainability in kidney care. The models and case studies from Green Nephrology have since been spread and shared across the country and the world and have inspired others to start work in this area.

He was also the first to start including sustainability as a seventh dimension of quality, and we still use his slide in our teaching. This insight led to the development of the SusQI framework which places sustainability at the heart of QI and is proving so powerful in equipping clinicians to act for a greener, better health service.

We often use Donal as an example of leadership in our training courses; he really was the best kind of leader. He was inclusive and personally kind to people in our small team – drawing us into strategic conversations and incredibly generous with his time and networks. He made time for us on the phone and email – always replying on the same day with practical help and connections. We were so touched when he came to the CSH 10-year workshop and party a couple of years ago. And he was the star of our Sustainable Specialties video  which we will treasure more than ever now.