Sustainable Specialties

sustainable specialties schematicThe Centre for Sustainable Healthcare’s innovative Sustainable Specialities programme inspires leadership and produces practical changes within the healthcare system. Clinical specialties are uniquely placed to address the financial and environmental sustainability of services – from the design of the clinical pathway to the organisation and delivery of care. The CSH specialty-led approach combines research focused on hotspots or barriers with support for local change, underpinned by wider engagement with national leaders, patients, and relevant environmental organisations and clinical bodies. 

"The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare supports clinicians to take a leading role in galvanising co-ordinated, systematic and evidence based action for sustainable healthcare.

"Their sustainable specialties programmes and their work in medical education are excellent examples of what clinicians need to help them take exemplary action for tomorrow whilst continuing to deliver high quality care for today." 

Dr David Pencheon - Director, Sustainable Development Unit, NHS England & Public Health England

Sustainable Clinical Specialties 

Learn about our work in individual clinical specialties: 

Sustainability Fellowship and Scholarships 

CSH has pioneered the Sustainable Specialty Fellowship, which takes the best individuals and invests intensively in them as highly trained catalysts for the long term transformation of the area. Each Fellow is a clinician from within the speciality. Employed by a host organisation and embedded within a clinical specialty CSH can help them to identify an area for research or transformation and ensure they have the skills and networks to achieve their goals.

**See our page on Setting up a Sustainability Fellowship or Scholarship Programme**

An example of Green Nephrology

This video focuses on the initiatives taken in kidney treatment which, if applied to the NHS as a whole, could save up to £1 billion a year.

Green Specialty Challenge

The Green Specialty Challenge is a national programme to stimulate engagement, innovation and greater understanding of environmentally preferable options within the specialty. The Challenge demonstrates knowledge into action, and publicises what a clinical community can achieve through practical, achievable changes. Six multi-professional teams from the chosen specialty are selected to take part in the Challenge. The teams receive mentoring and support from the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) to develop, run and measure outcomes of sustainable quality improvement, or 'SusQI' projects.  The Challenge culminates in a high-profile Showcase and Awards event to engage the clinical community and share the learning. 

The Specialty Challenge is an adaptation of CSH’s Green Team Competition, an award-winning programme in sustainable healthcare that transforms expert knowledge into action in NHS and healthcare organisations. The approach has been demonstrated in the national Green Surgery Challenge, created and delivered by CSH through collaboration with partners and funding sponsors. Successes included:

  • A high level of interest in participating (30 applications)
  • Clinical leadership to decarbonise surgical pathways with five UK surgery teams developing, running and measuring the impact of SusQI projects
  • Combined projected annual savings of 133.4 tonnes CO2e (equivalent of 38 round-trip flights from London to Hong Kong)
  • 200 attendees at the Green Surgery Conference where teams presented their projects, highlighting the environmental, social, and financial impacts made. There were over 47,000 impressions on Twitter over 2 days following the conference.
  • 5 case studies developed to continue sharing learning across the surgical community (case studies available via CSH’s Surgical Care Sustainability Network).

Sustainable Healthcare Networks

CSH's Sustainable Healthcare Networks Hub provides a platform for healthcare communities to share resources, knowledge, and ideas, and connecting with like-minded individuals from around the world. It currently hosts over 30 networks, including specialties such as Kidney Care, Surgical Care, Paediatrics, Emergency Care, Endoscopy and many more.

The Networks hub is open to anyone with an interest in sustainable healthcare, including healthcare professionals, patients, administrators, researchers, students, and more. Members have access to:

  • A resource library of academic publications, case studies, education and training resources, policy reports, etc
  • Access to a growing network of individuals and organisations working towards sustainability in healthcare
  • Opportunities to participate in discussions and events related to sustainable healthcare
  • A platform for sharing resources, ideas, questions and answers with others in the community