Greener General Practices
General Practices: driving a greener NHS
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) believes GPs are in a unique position to support a greener NHS. As well as working with other organisations, GPs can influence, support and help patients understand how to increase sustainability and reduce carbon emissions.
This can be achieved by changes to clinical practice, for example prescribing lower carbon medicines (for example using dry powder (DPI) rather than metered dose inhalers (MDI) where appropriate), preventing ill health and promoting healthy lives including diet and exercise.
The carbon footprint GP practices can also be reduced by:
– Reducing unnecessary patient and staff travel
– Promoting active travel (walking, cycling)
– Reducing energy use
– Switching to renewable energy sources
– Choosing sustainable goods and services.
Promoting greener practices in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
Amanda Woodgate, a GP in North West Leicestershire is leading an initiative to educate and equip practices with the knowledge and resources they need to achieve the LLR Green plan goals.
Key to the successful delivery of this will be to engage GP practice teams.
Amada explains: ”We want to mobilise action by practices to support the LLR Green Plan and make a contribution to the ambition for a greener NHS by making sustainability a priority for GPs.
“Sustainable working is about more than just achieving Net Zero targets: it’s about improving the health of our population here and now. It centres around reducing waste, improve efficiency, reducing unnecessary cost, and addressing health inequalities.
“To support GP practices we will create a simple to follow and practical to use action plan. It will focus on the most impactful actions practices can take to make a contribution reducing their environmental impact. This will include how patients can adopt healthier, greener lifestyles.”
The toolkit will include information and links to resources on:
– Prescribing for example greener asthma care
– Active Travel Schemes
– Nutrition and health diets, access to healthy food
– Understanding the practice carbon footprint.