In August 2018, Miss Chantelle Rizan was appointed as the first Sustainable Surgery Fellow. She is an ENT surgeon, and is taking time out of training for a PhD, focusing on improving the sustainable value of surgery. This will balance patient and population outcomes against the ecological, social and financial sustainability of surgery. She has a Masters of Research in Medical Research and was previously chair of the Brighton Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Chantelle is working alongside Mr Mahmood Bhutta, Founder of the BMA Fair and Ethical Trade Group. This post has been facilitated by Health Education England.

This surgical sustainability research will include:

  • An evaluation of the national ecological sustainability of surgical services across England, using a hybrid approach (life cycle assessment + environmental input-output methodologies) This will identify opportunities to reduce waste, reuse equipment and refine processes within the operating theatre.
  • Results from the national study will inform a more granular study focusing on identified carbon hotspots and identifying areas to lean surgical services, improving financial sustainability.
  • Chantelle will also examine social sustainability through evaluating the impact of surgery on the quality of life of patients, staff, carers and communities involved in the supply chain. The latter will include an evaluation of the risk of labour rights abuses.

Chantelle is also working to advocate sustainable practice within surgery, developing the Sustainable Operating Theatres network, with the help of Miss Charlotte Holbrook, a paediatric surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She will work alongside key policy makers and surgical opinion shapers to disseminate research findings and instigate real world change, improving the sustainability of surgery.