Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

David Pencheon: Seeking sustainable healthcare

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 22 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3384


David Pencheon, 58, is director of the NHS/PHE Sustainable Development Unit in Cambridge. He tries hard not to lecture, harangue, or wag fingers at anybody, even though his message of creating sustainable healthcare models needs powerful lungs to be heard above the everyday hubbub. A public health specialist, he was a teacher, drama student, director of public health, and director of the NHS Eastern Region Public Health Observatory before helping to found the unit he now runs. His objectives are “worthy,” but he worries that this may put people off unless they are also fun and lead to better, more sustainable care. “One person is a crank, two people are a pressure group, 1.3 million people is a social movement,” he recently tweeted.

What was your earliest ambition?

To win a prize at school (it never happened) and to be an architect (which …

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