GP trainee interested in sustainable healthcare?

Frances Mortimer's picture

We are increasingly being contacted by GP trainees (and educators) wishing to develop a special interest in sustainable healthcare. So I thought it might be helpful to share these few notes about how sustainable healthcare fits with the GP curriculum and opportunities to take this further.


The RCGP expects that general practitioners should understand the environmental impact of commissioning and planning decisions in relation to healthcare, should take action to improve the sustainability of local healthcare provision, and understand how medical professionals can contribute, personally and collectively, to positive societal change in relation to CO2 production and climate change. (“The GP in the Wider Professional Environment”, Contextual Statement, RCGP (2012))

Sustainability in Quality Improvement

Sustainability can be addressed in the context of any QI project, and the different perspective that it brings can result in additional benefits to patient care. This approach is summarised here and discussed in two articles: and

Good topics for QI in primary care could include improving the sustainability of asthma and COPD prescribing (inhalers), social prescribing, streamlining referral systems, deprescribing, advance care planning / end of life care.

Trainees/GPs may also find useful:

SusQI open access learning resources:

SusQI training: - the next courses are 24-26 February 2020.

Further development opportunities

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) can provide additional support to clinicians undertaking applied projects or research in sustainable healthcare. Over the years, we have managed and mentored both part- and full-time roles from a wide range of specialties, including general practice, providing structured training days as well as individual supervision and support. Currently we are supervising a full-time research fellow in Sustainable Surgery as well as part time fellows/scholars in anaesthetics, dentistry, psychiatry and ophthalmology.

Pre CCT, interested GP trainees are encouraged to discuss with their educational supervisors and explore the possibility of an extension to training/ longitudinal OOPE.

Post CCT, GPs may be eligible for Post-CCT Fellowships which could be themed on sustainable healthcare – this would have the advantage that the associated academic award could be used to cover CSH supervision costs.

Medical education fellows

CSH has a dedicated programme on sustainable healthcare education, so if there are individuals in a position to work with us specifically on medical education, then we would greatly welcome their contribution. You may be aware that the GMC has specified that medical graduates should be able to apply the ‘principles, methods and knowledge… of sustainable healthcare.’

CSH supervision fees

Fees are based on the number of days of supervision and training provided by CSH to fellows/scholars in the course of a year. Depending on circumstances, fees may be provided for within an existing external programme (e.g. the HEE Post-CCT fellowships mentioned above). If not, then funding can often be obtained by applying to local or national educational or charitable bodies.

If you would like to explore the possibility of working directly with CSH along the lines outlined above, please contact me at

Dr Frances Mortimer, Medical Director, CSH

Register or log in to join our networks!