Embedding Sustainability into Quality Improvement: a two-part shared learning forum

Embedding environmental and social sustainability into quality improvement education, training and practice can support healthcare professionals in contributing to the NHS's commitment to a Net Zero health system. The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare's 'SusQI' framework provides a practical tool for reducing healthcare's negative environmental impact while maximizing social value at every opportunity.

Listen to the recordings of the third and fourth webinars of the Connecting Q Locally virtual event series, in which our inspiring panelists discussed how to embed sustainability into quality improvement education, training, and practice.

Part I: Embedding sustainability into healthcare education; lessons learned from practice

This event highlighted the lessons learned from the SusQI Education Project, touching on newly published research findings. Our panel members explored the strategies taken to embed SusQI into QI education, the impact it has on learners, and how we are navigating the further spread of SusQI through the Beacon Site Programme and SusQI Academy.  

Panel members:

  • Dr Heather Baid, University of Brighton: embedding SusQI into nursing postgraduate education 
  • Dr Florence Wedmore, Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University London: teaching SusQI to medical students 
  • Dr Kay Leedham-Green, Imperial College London Medical Education Research Unit: lessons learned from a multisite, multiprofessionals evaluation study of SusQI 

Part II: Embedding sustainability into QI training and practice within NHS Trusts; barriers and strategies

NHS trusts and boards can integrate the SusQI framework as a way to meet the workforce development demands of NHS decarbonisation targets, and to set strategic goals which drive practical, systemic changes towards sustainability. During this event, we heard from pioneering NHS trusts who are already on their way to transforming their QI training and practice by embedding sustainability. You will learn about the support offered through the SusQI Education project at CSH, including the Beacon Site Programme, SusQI Academy and Green Ward Competition.

Panel members:

  • Stuart Lane, Sustainability and Carbon Manager,University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Katy Morris, Associate Director of Continuous Improvement and Sustainability, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Laura Middlemass, Assistant Sustainability Manager Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Learning Resources & Support

  • 30-minute SusQI elearning session: this free SusQI ‘taster’ session provides learners with insight into the value of embedding sustainable healthcare principles into each step of quality improvement
  • 3-part courses:
  • SusQI.org open access resources
    • Step-by-step guide: provides SusQI project resources, including driver diagrams, process maps, a carbon calculation guide and a project development template
    • Educators pack: contains materials for teaching SusQI to a variety of learners, such as introductory materials, a slide set, interactive activities, and an assessment guide
  • The Q Community Sustainable Healthcare Special Interest Group: brings together healthcare professionals with an interest in quality improvement and sustainable healthcare
  • CSH Sustainable Specialty Networks: enable communities of like-minded people to collaborate internationally on sustainability in their clinical specialty or area of interest.

Support for healthcare and educational institutions

  • SusQI Academy: provides organisations with support to help them embed sustainability into their QI education and practice by training key staff to become SusQI leads
  • Course block booking: enables your organisation to equip staff with the motivation, skills, and resources necessary to develop low-carbon healthcare projects that align with your Green/Sustainability Plan
  • Green Ward Competition: an award-winning, tried & tested leadership and engagement programme to transform healthcare by cutting carbon, improving patient care & staff experience and saving money
  • Beacon Site Recognition: can be applied for by institutions and organisations and demonstrates their leadership in empowering faculty and/or students to design and implement sustainable quality improvement and transformation


This project is funded through Q, by the Health Foundation and NHS England and NHS Improvement. You can view more topics of the connecting q locally series, here.