RCPsych Sustainability Scholarship 2015-2016

Suhana Ahmed's picture

In June this year, the RCPsych Sustainability Scholarship Programme 2015 -2016 was advertised. Higher trainees in Psychiatry were offered the chance to apply and be supported by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) in conjunction with the RCPsych Sustainability Lead. Each Scholar would be paired with a forward-thinking clinical commissioning group (CCG), which had committed to implementation of the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health sustainable commissioning guide

After an anxiety provoking application and interview process, the amazing, highly intelligent and enthusiastic (note, possible bias from writer) scholars were appointed and met officially for the first time on Friday 4th September 2015 at the RCPsych Sustainability Programme Induction located at CSH offices in Oxford. It was a great opportunity to meet the whole team, get to know each other over biscuits and tea, and learn more about sustainability in healthcare. Among many others, Daniel Maughan wowed us all with talk of his work over the last few years, and his role as RCPsych Sustainability Fellow.

So without further delay, let me introduce the RCPsych sustainability scholars 2015-2016…

Dr Suhana Ahmed (ST5 in General Adult & Old Age Psychiatry) Currently training at SWLSTG. Suhana will be paired with Brighton &Hove CCG. - see photo above

Previously, an A&E trainee before she saw the light and changed to psychiatry, having never looked back. ‘For me, sustainability is about change...changing the way we see things, the way we think and commission, the way we do things…and looking to the future, our future, our children’s future and the generations to come.’ In her spare time, she is a mummy (harder than any job she has ever done!) and when she’s not being mummy (which is never) loves reading all kinds of fiction (book recommendations most welcome).


Dr Mike Pearce (ST4 General Adult and Old Age Psychiatry) Mike currently works in Berkshire.

I’m Mike and I’m a speciality trainee in psychiatry. I’m a keen distance runner and also try to cycle whenever I can. Despite my apparent youth, I’m an old rocker at heart and also play drums! With a background in economics I understand some of the pressures facing mental health in terms of increasing demand with stagnant financial (and environmental!) budgets. But on a positive note I really think together we can do something about it and as one of the Sustainability Scholars I look forward to working with CSH and Oxfordshire CCG to help implement sustainable commissioning.


Dr Oliver Bashford (ST6 Old Age Psychiatry) Oliver is currently working in SLAM, in fact acting up as a Consultant for 3 months in an Old Age CMHT.

I'm Oliver, an ST6 trainee in older adult psychiatry in Southeast London and I'll be working closely with City and Hackney CCG on their sustainable commissioning projects. In addition to an interest in sustainable models of healthcare, I am also involved in service regulation and in global health and am currently involved in a project using technology to enhance the professional development of doctors in east Africa.

I am an amateur ukulele enthusiast, I enjoy camping and teaching my three year old daughter how to compost waste and grow delicious vegetables (though she is yet to be convinced about the latter). I am keen to help drive the transition to a sustainable and resilient health service.


So, my take on the 3 scholars (or Frances’ Angels/ Phil’s Angels as we may find ourselves being called)…Mike – the sporty one (who else even contemplates cycling from Oxford to London), Oliver – the intellectual one (having had a riveting discussion on politics on the short bus journey into the town centre!). Suhana – I would like to hope she is the brains and beauty of the 3 (note: possible bias reporting from the writer) but we shall see….. What I can say is on behalf of all of us is that we intend to bring innovation, enthusiasm and passion to the group in our own individual way, and as a team. We cannot wait to get started!


Sustainability scholars - as good as they sound!

Frances Mortimer's picture

Thanks so much for a fantastic introduction, Suhana, and i would just like to endorse your description of the new scholars as amazing, highly intelligent and enthusiastic! We at CSH are equally excited about the programme and about working with you and with some very enlightened CCGs on making mental health services more sustainable. Looking forward to lots more interesting blogs over the next year!

Frances (Medical Director, CSH) 


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