Becoming a jolly good Fellow...
From November 2010, I will take over from Andy Connor as the next Green Nephrology Fellow, I am both excited by the tremendous developments that have occurred in little over a year and slightly daunted at the prospect of taking on the mantle of "Fellow".
Currently, I am still immersed in my clinical job as a nephrology specialist registrar in Glasgow. During my career I have worked in four renal units - district general and tertiary referral - and have had been involved in research and teaching. I have left the clinical arena before, when I undertook research leading to a PhD, and I realise that what lies ahead will be different, challenging and above all an opportunity not to be missed!
Tara with outgoing Fellow, Andy Connor, at the Green Nephrology Summit 2010
The coming years will hold many challenges for renal services. In nephrology we are fortunate to have a well organised, forward looking, IT aware specialty, well positioned to adapt to change and which has embraced Green Nephrology. The support from our Renal Tzar and Renal Association President exemplify this. The need to combat climate change through the delivery of sustainable healthcare can be used as a timely driver of quality improvement and cost efficiency in our current economic climate. We are well placed to continue to do this within the nephrology community. We can also learn from industry where sustainable policies have been in place for years to promote corporate image and staff engagement as well as aid efficiency.
Many areas have opened up through the work of Andy and the network of Green Representatives he has helped to create. One task will be to reinforce this grass roots network with enhanced support, improved information sharing and new members. The production of the first carbon footprint of a renal service has identified procurement as a major area of carbon emissions and ideas are already in creation to tackle this complex area aided by the Association of Renal Industries. Telemedicine in its various forms, is also emerging as an integral part of sustainable healthcare which can greatly enhance patient choice. If harnessed effectively, generic telemedicine models could be adapted by the wider renal community to great effect.
I look forward to taking up the post of Green Nephrology Fellow full time in November and becoming part of a team that has a growing momentum.