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30 April 2021
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Sustainability – a leadership issue with new opportunities

By Mr Peter Lees

FMLM Chief Executive

As sustainability ascends the political agenda of so many countries, it is important to understand the complexities of gaining buy-in at every level. This is influencing on a global scale and as such, it will require great leadership. It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of a new clinical fellow scheme which will support clinicians in England with a passion for sustainability to develop their leadership skills.

For health services to play their part we need to support existing leaders but also engage emerging clinical leaders. FMLM is therefore delighted to partner in the establishment and delivery of the Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow scheme, which is an exceptional opportunity at an exceptional time.

The escalating importance of the ‘green’ agenda is evident. I look forward to working with Dr Nick Watts in supporting the energy and drive of clinicians passionate about sustainability to help lead the ‘green’ agenda for health and care now, and for the future.

Dr Nick Watts, NHS Chief Sustainability Officer

“The launch of the Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme has come at a unique moment – in the year of the UK’s presidency of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), and one year since the NHS became the world’s first healthcare system to declare its ambition to become net zero. 

“Reaching this goal matters. The core purpose of the NHS is to improve patient and community health. Climate change threatens this by undermining the foundations of good health and putting the NHS, its people, and the patients it serves at risk. As the UK’s largest employer, contributing 4.6% of UK carbon emissions, the NHS is part of the challenge and the solution. We have a collective responsibility to act.  

“Now, more than ever there is a clear need for clinical leadership to drive this agenda across the health and care sector. The Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme represents a bold response to this demand, seeking to inspire, support and accelerate the next generation of clinical health and sustainability leaders.  

“The scheme provides an ideal structured learning experience for those with ambition and a passion for health and climate change. Fellows will get the unparalleled opportunity to help build a greener NHS and improve patient outcomes, working in collaboration with and being mentored by national leaders across the NHS.”

See full details of the Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme

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