We are a group of motivated individuals from healthcare, marine science, environmental/public health, commercial shipping and active living. We work in our own time to ensure ocean health is considered and where appropriate included within healthcare strategy.

We aim to conserve and protect coastal and marine ecosystems through minimising harm resulting from the procurement and delivery of healthcare whilst increasing awareness of the benefits to human health and wellbeing from healthy seas, coasts, and waterways.

We wish to promote the ethos of the Ocean and Us, recognising all interactions must take place with care to minimise harm whilst improving access to high quality blue spaces for all, reducing inequalities, and enhancing the health and wellbeing of our population.

We listen to increase our understanding of the complex interface between the delivery of healthcare, procurement, economics and the planet; aiming to educate both healthcare professionals and the public on the interdependence between human, planetary and oceanic health.

We are not affiliated with any healthcare provider or government organisation but simply work with those who share our vision, supporting the implementation of solutions through facilitating collaboration.

Healthcare Ocean is not a charity or registered business; we do not handle money or receive donations but where appropriate, will signpost organisations who wish to invest in sustainability-related projects to legitimate schemes.

We believe the concept of “first, do no harm” should extend from patient to planet; and therefore, advocate to ensure oceanic and blue health is never forgotten by decision makers.


Richard Hixson

Consultant in Critical Care
Designer CPDmatch
NE ICS Sustainability Group 'people' Lead
Durham Council Climate Emergency Strategic Board
Trustee Centre for Sustainable Healthcare
Member of NHS England's Sustainable Procurement and Supplier Forums
Co-founder Healthcare Ocean

Georgie Sowman

General Practitioner NE England
PHE Physical Activity Champion NE
Co-founder Healthcare Ocean
RCGP Climate and Ecological Emergency Advisory Group
HENEE Faculty of Sustainability
NE Sustainability ICS


Lora Flemming

Director of the European Centre; Chair of Oceans, Epidemiology and Human Health
Lead for the H2020 funded projects; BlueHealth
Co-founder Healthcare Ocean

Kat Smith

Former NHS doctor
Healthcare Ocean team member


Ric Fordham

Health Economist and Academic Public Health specialist.
Dedicated amateur ecologist and former diver.
Wide interest in the environment, including all aspects of oceanography as well as earth sciences.