A Mandatory NHS Sustainability Training Day

Emily Farrow's picture

On the14th November 2017 the UK’s first, mandatory Sustainability in the NHS Training Day was held in Sheffield for dental trainees. This exciting event was made possible by Health Education England in Yorkshire and the Humber (HEEYH) and done in collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.

The trainees had to work hard and did some excellent presentations on subjects ranging from the public health effects of climate change and the importance of prevention in dentistry to the Minimata Convention and the sustainability of nitrous oxide, travel and tele-health in dentistry.

Lectures and workshops focussed on how to develop feasible and measurable projects which improve the quality of dental care, minimising the environmental, social and financial costs. Projects to reduce the carbon footprint of travel; limit medicines waste; increase the use of digital communication and reduce unnecessary paper use were discussed.

Mrs Ghazala Ahmad-Mear (Associate Postgraduate Dental Dean for HEEYH) was the driving force in making this day happen. She was inspired to get Sustainability training into NHS Clinical training programmes during her time on an International Arctic Expedition in 2016.  She commented on the “fabulous engagement and enthusiasm” of the trainees and that there are “some fantastic projects planned from ..new sustainability leaders”. 

An achievement such as this mandatory training day, particularly if replicated across the UK, has an important role in supporting wider efforts to respond adequately to the urgent need to make healthcare more sustainable. 

To see images of the day click here

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