Skip to content

Q logo

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

“Climate change is a medical emergency … It thus demands an emergency response…”

Prof Hugh Montgomery

The COVID crisis has had a profound negative impact on the vital sustainability agenda – particularly through single use items.

National polls, trainee feedback and staff surveys demonstrate a thirst for us to make a change. To lead the way in achieving carbon neutrality.

Current sustainability approaches are being developed in uncoordinated silos. There is a massive opportunity to connect patients and staff in a community with the clearest shared purpose humanity has faced. We can learn together to recover from COVID in a sustainable way.

We have established partnerships with the Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA), the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH), the Carbon Literacy project and Stockport Council.

Together we have formulated Our Green Community. A staff and patient led sustainability crowdsourcing community.

What does your project aim to achieve?

We will establish a community of sustainably informed patients and staff. We will empower people to generate novel ideas and work together to bring them to fruition. The engine of change will be Sustainable Quality Improvement (SusQI) methodology. The spark to ignite the fire will be Carbon Literacy training.


  • Share learning during the COVID recovery
  • Generate and develop ideas and processes for a sustainable COVID recovery
  • Primary Outcomes: carbon footprint reduction / financial savings / social impact (Triple Bottom Line)
  • Secondary Outcomes: staff/patient satisfaction / staff engagement / staff retention /

There is a large body of evidence demonstrating how climate change widens health equalities. By achieving carbon neutrality we will play our part in negating these effects.

How will the project be delivered?

We will utilise NHS Large Scale change methodology. Project management will be supported by AQuA who have a wide range of experience in this field. We will divide the project into discrete 30/60/90 day cycles.

Stakeholder Engagement (30): We will engage and recruit staff and patient key stakeholders. We have already recruited exec and non-exec board level sponsorship.

SusQI (30): With the support of the CSH we will align our current QI methodology with SusQI.

Carbon Literacy (60): With the support of the Carbon Literacy project we will train a core cohort in carbon literacy. This will empower the community to drive meaningful change.

Staff/Patient recruitment (60): This will be led by the comms team.

Our Green Community idea generation and enactment (90): This will be supported by all stakeholders with advice from NHS Horizons.

The project offer excellent value for money as it utilises pre-existing workforce to enact change.

How is your project going to share learning?

BMJ open quality

Special Interest Group involvement

Sustainable healthcare network interaction.

Final project report.

Social Media / conventional media – led by comms team

How you can contribute

  • Expert opinion and advice on:
  • staff/patient recruitment methodology
  • crowdsourcing
  • Business case development
  • Links to those within sustainable healthcare
  • Links to other agencies that would fit well within the model.
  • Any and all advice!

Plan timeline

15 Nov 2020 Core team engagement
15 Nov 2020 Declare a climate emergency
15 Dec 2020 SusQI integration
15 Feb 2021 Crowdsourcing platform creation and 'go live'
15 Mar 2021 Staff and patient recruitment
15 Jun 2021 Idea generation and enactment


  1. Hi David,

    This sounds like an excellent idea. I agree that a lot of sustainability work seems to take place in silos, and this prevents it being a thread through everything we do.

    There is impressive work going on in Brighton by some of the surgeons, looking at measuring and reducing the carbon footprint of theatres. Chantelle Rizan, who is also a Q member is key in taking this forward.

    If you do find a way of engaging the broader health community please share, and we can copy the model down here in Sussex.

    Good luck with it,


    1. Hi Sarah,

      I'm really glad you like the idea. I think it has great potential to be used in other areas. I plan to document the establishment process so hopefully others don't have to make the same mistakes.

      Thank you for the link to Chantelle. We have a green theatre team starting up here and it would be great to stand on the shoulders of those who've already had success.

      Kind regards,


  2. Hi David,

    Myself and my colleague Emma Adams (Health Transformation Partnership) are supporting the Health Foundation this year by fostering conversations between Q members and encouraging collaboration. We were Exchange applicants last year, so we’re hoping that our experience will help us to help others, as their ideas take shape.

    Your idea is very compelling (not least as I have a personal interest in sustainability). We've not had chance yet to read every idea, but having done so, we'll see if we can connect you with people who might have the skills you've called out. However, a couple of things immediately jump out. One is that those using Experience-Based Co-Design (e.g. in Northumbria - Annie Laverty's team have a great deal of experience engaging with patients through improvement work, so that's perhaps one connection to make. The other thought I had was that your organisation may have an improvement team (or similar) who may be more familiar with generating business cases. If that route doesn't prove helpful, do come back to me as I may be able to offer some guidance in this area.

    Before I sign off, I noticed that you describe 30/60/90 day cycles, but there seems to be two aspects with 60 days against them, so I wondered whether it would help to flesh our your project timeline, making it a bit clearer which, if any, of these aspects will be delivered in parallel.

    I hope that helps and I wish you all the best, with your idea.


    1. Hi Pete,

      Thank you for highlighting the co-design project. I will link in with Annie's team.

      Our improvement team are, thankfully, already involved in the project. The improvement and strategy director is the board level sponsor for the project.

      Good idea with clearing up the project timeline. Tellingly you are not the first to make this point. Is it possible to a Gantz type chart to the application?

      Kind regards,



Leave a comment

If you have a Q account please log in before posting your comment.

Read our comments policy before posting your comment.

This will not be publicly visible

Please note that you won't be able to edit or delete comments once posted.