During 2019 we have been making some changes to the way we do things at the surgery in an attempt to make what we do more sustainable. Some of these changes you may notice, others are more behind the scenes. Changes will be ongoing, and we’ll try to provide regular updates. We can reassure you that patient care and safety remains our main priority and will ensure that none of the changes affect this in any way.
Some of the areas we have addressed include:
Energy consumption – we have addressed various ways in which this might be addressed in the practice from improving signage to turn off lights and A/C when not in use, to using energy monitors to look at computer electricity consumption. Using telephone consultations helps to reduce energy involved in travel to the surgery and we use this in deciding the best way of conducting a consultation. You may even notice our GPs cycling around town on home visits rather than driving!
Reduce paper consumption – we have put in measures to reduce our paper use including double sided printing / copying and avoiding printing where possible. You might notice that you are directed to a website for a patient information leaflet rather than having it printed out in the surgery. All our paper used in the practice is FSC certified. Electronic prescribing helps reduce printed paper prescriptions
Reduce medication wastages – we want to reduce medication waste to save NHS costs, improve safety and reduce the environmental costs of production. Once medicines leave the pharmacy they can’t be reused for other patients so we work to ensure that all drugs dispensed are needed and will be used. If medication is no longer needed then it can be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal. Medication reviews help reduce wastage and anyone on long term medication will have a regular review.
Recycling – We have introduced recycling of dry mixed waste (DMR) throughout the practice, and have raised awareness of the inhaler recycling scheme which several local pharmacies run. We are extending our use of rechargeable batteries throughout the practice where possible.
Supporting healthy lifestyles – We know health and wellbeing can be improved in many ways and we work with local services and third sector organisations to signpost you to help where suitable. This is sometimes called social prescribing and can range from help with exercise to mental health to misuse support. We have regular training in this regard and are always keen to learn about new services available locally.
We support ethical standards in food production and have introduced fairtrade certified products to the surgery. We hope you support us in these activities, and welcome any suggestions, feedback and comment.