Education and training
We work with education providers, professional bodies and healthcare organisations to deliver programs and develop resources to provide education and training in sustainable healthcare.
Sustainable Healthcare Education Network
CSH hosts and manages the Sustainable Healthcare Education (SHE) Network - an international group of clinicians, academics and students interested in preparing health professionals to work in an environmentally sustainable health service: one that is compatible with, and contributes positively to, planetary health. The network enables discussion and sharing of resources for teaching and curriculum development on sustainable healthcare. The SHE Network is open to people from all disciplines, although early work has focussed mainly on medical students and doctors in training.
The SHE Network began in 2009 by sharing examples of existing practice on teaching about the links between climate change and health among UK medical schools. In 2010 we developed undergraduate teaching materials, conducted workshops and provided advice to a dozen interested medical schools, and in 2011-12 further case studies were collated.
In 2011, the GMC requested recommendations from the SHE Network for priority learning outcomes on sustainability in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. Draft recommendations were developed and were refined through a national consultation in 2012-13. The final consensus priority learning outcomes were published in The Lancet and informed the development of the GMC's Outcomes for Graduates 2018, which require that “newly qualified doctors must be able to apply the principles, methods and knowledge of population health and the improvement of health and sustainable healthcare to medical practice.” Our priority learning outcomes are provided as a reference from GMC Outcomes for graduates: Further reading.
In 2015-16, the SHE Network coordinated a programme, "Education for Sustainable Healthcare - from Theory into Practice". The programme was linked to a small research project (funded by SEDA) and supported seven "beacon" medical schools in developing and implementing new teaching on sustainability within their undergraduate course.
In 2018, the Network is being relaunched with the appointment of a national Steering Committee, chaired by Professor Anthony Costello from UCL, and development of a five year work programme to achieve the following objectives:
- To expand and support a network of educators and students from health profession schools across the UK, working to embed planetary health and sustainability within health professional education.
- To facilitate the sharing of educational materials for sustainable healthcare education.
- To influence national curriculum requirements and guidance for health professional education in the UK.
- To promote the inclusion of planetary health and sustainable healthcare within the curricula of medical and health profession schools in the UK.
- To form partnerships with health education organisations and institutions to increase SHE’s impact.
On 11th September 2018, the SHE Network is running a 1-day masterclass to develop skills for sustainable healthcare education. The masterclass is open to educators and students from all health disciplines.
For further information, please contact Joey Brooke.
CSH develops and runs a range of clinical scholarship programmes. These offer clinicians the opportunity to develop skills in sustainable healthcare within the context of the NHS through bespoke training and project work together with CSH and relevant external organisations. If you would like to know more, please contact Frances Mortimer.
Sustainability in quality improvement
Sustainability has been recognised as a domain of quality in healthcare, and building it into quality improvement (QI) is a practical way to drive incremental change towards a more ethical, sustainable health system.
The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare has developed a framework for the inclusion of sustainability in QI, outlined in two articles:
- Sustainability in quality improvement: redefining value. Mortimer F, Isherwood J, Wilkinson A, Vaux E. Future Healthcare Journal, 2018 Vol.5(2):88-93
- Sustainability in quality improvement: measuring impact. Mortimer F, Isherwood J, Pearce M, Kenward C, Vaux E. Future Healthcare Journal, 2018 Vol.5(2):94-97
With grant funding from North Bristol NHS Trust, CSH has also developed open access learning materials based on the SusQI framework, which may be found at http://networks.sustainablehealthcare.org.uk/sus-qi-resources.
CSH has contributed to the development of e-learning resources, including two BMJ Learning modules on climate change and health and, through the RCPsych Sustainability Fellow, Dr Daniel Maughan, an online module for the Royal College of Psychiatrists on the social role of doctors.
We have developed an e-learning session on sustainable dentistry for Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex, which is available to NHS dental professionals and students free of charge on the e-Learning for Healthcare national platform here.
Our interactive workshops explore the future of healthcare through the paradigm of sustainability: what are the constraints, what needs to change, and how can sustainability be addressed through quality improvement and clinical leadership?
1. Introduction: 21st century healthcare
Following public health and technological advances in the previous century, 21st century healthcare still faces major challenges in the areas of cost, quality and carbon. Climate change is a threat to global health, yet health services are significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainability has been described as the seventh dimension of quality in healthcare, where it maximises the value from resources through the empowerment of patients and the elimination of waste.
2. What should we change?
The carbon footprint of NHS England is driven by the provision of clinical care; thus, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the NHS in line with national targets and EU regulations, a transformation to sustainable clinical practice is required. Options for reducing carbon include prevention, self-care and lean systems (to minimize low value activity), and the preferential use of low carbon treatments/technologies (to reduce carbon intensity of valued activities). Similar thinking can be applied to smaller changes in a single process, ward or department.
3. Measuring sustainability
Sustainability encompasses social and financial as well as environmental aspects (the “triple bottom line”). Even environmental sustainability can be further broken down into energy/greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of natural resources, impacts on biodiversity etc., which may be complicated to measure. Participants are supported to identify the data that could be used to calculate a carbon footprint of clinical activity within their setting and directed to tools and other sources of support.
4. Sustainable healthcare in clinical leadership
Sustainability is a new motivation for staff and patients to engage in service improvement. Granting “permission” to improve sustainability in the workplace empowers individuals who may not respond to top-down cost reduction initiatives, which can be perceived negatively. Yet sustainability projects frequently produce measurable cost savings in addition to other benefits.
Feedback from previous sessions:
‘Thank you for this amazing course. Plenty of things to think about in our everyday practice.’
'Really was good. It takes a lot to inspire those who've been working in the NHS for decades but you managed it!' Dr Alison Graham, Spinal Injuries Consultant, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
'It was definitely worth coming – the information presented was well worth hearing - and the networking was worthwhile, particularly hearing about the sustainability challenges in other specialties and professions.' Rex Haigh, Medical Psychotherapy Consultant, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
If you would like to know more about our workshops, please contact Frances Mortimer.