Sustainability - What are we doing?

Below are the changes we have made so far to improve our sustainability as a GP practice.

Waste

  • The practice encourages all staff to recycle domestic and food waste in the appropriate bins.
  • All staff within the practice are aware of the difference between waste bins (clinical, offensive, hazardous and domestic waste).
  • All printer ink cartridges are recycled.
  • Staff are asked to print all documents double-sided where possible and to save any non-confidential paper to be used as scrap paper for note taking.

Clinical Care

  • The practice has employed a social prescribing link worker to prescribe and encourage non-pharmaceutical interventions to patients affected by chronic health conditions, mental health problems and social isolation.
  • The practice has reviewed the proportion of dry powder inhalers (DPIs) used compared to metered dose inhalers (MDIs). MDIs release hydroflurocarbons and account for an estimated 4% of the entire NHS footprint. DPIs have a much lower carbon footprint and are clinically appropriate for many patients.
  • The practice has a system in place to review patients on 10 or more prescriptions to prevent unnecessary polypharmacy.
  • Our doctors receive guidance on optimisation of prescribing medicines to help improve medicines safety and reduce costs for the NHS.
  • The practice encourages patient self-care to give patients a sense of ownership over their condition and empowers them to take care of themselves as much as possible. This can also result in reduced patient travel to the surgery and a better quality of life.
  • We are a breastfeeding friendly practice with patient access to a private area for feeding. The UK has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world, with just 34 per cent of babies receiving breast milk at six months of age, compared to 62 per cent in Sweden. Breastfeeding has proven maternal and infant health and wellbeing benefits which translate into reduced demand on healthcare services. 
  • The practice promotes physical exercise to patients. Prescribing exercise for patients has been advocated for over 20 years. Physical activity has significant benefits to physical and mental illness as well as all cause mortality. Physical inactivity is estimated to cost the UK £7.4 billion a year, and have significant impact on the environment due to health care related carbon footprint and single use plastic useage. There is evidence that a specific exercise prescription is more effective than general advice to be more active.

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