Between Extinction Rebellion and the EU declaring a climate emergency in November 2019, climate change has increasingly dominated headlines. Environmental sustainability is vital to the future of health and care; the NHS is responsible for almost half of the public sector’s carbon footprint and the issue is gaining momentum within the Q community with a dedicated SIG.
Why the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare?
The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (https://sustainablehealthcare.org.uk/) (formerly known as The Campaign for Greener Healthcare) is a registered charity. Set up in 2008 by Rachel Stancliffe and Muir Gray, it works to help the NHS fulfil its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 80% by 2050 and is now the foremost institution in the world working on sustainable healthcare in research and practice.
The Centre’s track record and the expertise of their staff and trustees enables them to work across health and care, public health and beyond in order to mainstream sustainability so that it is integral to the planning of health systems and the practice of professionals. Their team draws knowledge and experience from public health, clinical practice, environmental consultancy, research and public policy.
Their main focus is how to mainstream sustainability within clinical areas so that it becomes integral to the planning of health systems and the practice of healthcare professionals. They have developed a transformation programme for groups with a shared purpose, such as clinical specialities, which has been highly successful in kidney care and mental health and want to expand this to as many groups as possible within healthcare over the next few years.
What you’ll learn
Through this visit, Q members learnt about incorporating sustainability into both projects and strategy, specifically looking at carbon footprinting.
Aims and objectives
The aim of this visit was to introduce members to ways of making improvement an organisational habit. By the end of the session they learnt about:
- Describing the principles of sustainable development and the health impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- Developing skills for incorporating environmental sustainability into quality improvement strategies or projects.
- Applying knowledge of carbon footprinting to choose appropriate methodologies for different projects.
- Developing an approach for incorporating environmental sustainability into any health-related proposal and you’ll be able to apply this to at least one real piece of work.