CSH event on innovation and sustainability
On the 26th July 2017, the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) hosted a Centre for Sustainable Healthcare event on sustainability and innovation. It was an opportunity to communicate how the Centre’s pioneering Sustainable Specialties programme can foster change within existing clinical communities, focussing on the RCPsych Sustainability scholarships.
Psychiatry scholars, members of the RCPsych, representatives from other Royal Colleges, hospital trusts, health professionals, the press and newly appointed sustainability scholars attended. There were lively discussions and debates following presentations from the Psychiatry scholars, the RCPsych Sustainability Committee Associate Registrar and CSH directors.
The event provided a platform for the RCPsych sustainability scholars to present the projects they had been involved with during their scholarships.
Dr David Gregory highlighted his evaluation of a Street Triage service where police were accompanied by a mental health professional on call outs. The service resulted in a reduction in reliance on more resource intensive pathways, financial savings and reductions in carbon emissions.
Dr Emma Brandish reflected on her experience of developing a staff and patient walking group in a mental health unit. She also, amongst other projects, organised a trainee survival and resilience day which led to recommendations on trainee teaching, supervision and support.
Dr David Mclaughlan summarised his sustainability analysis of a psychiatric out of hours’ service looking at social, economic and environmental impacts. He made recommendations for the service, based on his findings, with the aim to improve trainee wellbeing, reduce travel, and reduce sick rates and the need for locums.
Dr Shiva Marjani discussed the outcomes from her project setting up a walking group for patients with learning disabilities. With a focus on prevention (being one of the 4 principles of sustainable clinical practice) she found evidence of improvements in physical activity and reductions in social isolation in those who attended the walking group.
Thanks to the success of the scholars this event was able to show how effective sustainability scholarships can be in engaging those in the front line of patient care and in incorporating the values of environmental sustainability into the health sector. The ongoing support for and impact of sustainability scholarships is evidenced by the new scholars for 2017-2018. Following in the footsteps of the first CSH sustainability fellow in Kidney care in 2009 they will continue to drive change, innovate and work to improve the sustainability and quality of healthcare.