Ep 54 – Ten practical tips for sustainability in primary care
Posted 19 Aug 2022
Back in 2009, the conclusion of the first Lancet Climate Change Commission was that “Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century.” In response to this, in October 2020, the NHS became the world’s first health service to commit to reaching carbon net zero, and in July 2022 it published its plan for delivery. So, what does all this mean for general practice? In this podcast episode, Dr Hannah Rosa shares her 10 practical sustainability tips for how we in primary care can make a difference.
Key references discussed in the episode:
- NHS England. Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service. July 2022.
- Achakulwisut P, et al. Lancet Planet Health. 2019 Apr;3(4):e166-e178. doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(19)30046-4.
- NICE. Medicines optimisation: the safe and effective use of medicines to enable the best possible outcomes (NG5). 4 March 2015.
- NICE. Environmental impact report: Medicines optimisation. Implementing the NICE guideline on medicines optimisation (NG5).
- Purohit A, Smith J and Hibble A. Future Healthc J. 2021 Mar;8(1):e85-e91. doi: 10.7861/fhj.2020-0080.
- Superdrug Pharmacies blister pack recycling scheme.
- Valpak’s free battery box.
- Recycle your used batteries for Cancer Research UK.
- A poster from the Greener Practice Toolkit, which can be printed and displayed in surgeries, informing patients to return their used inhalers to a pharmacy, to help to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Quick tips to save energy from the Energy Saving Trust.
- Greener Practice’s guide on “How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Inhaler Prescribing”.
- A video from Asthma and Lung UK on how to use a Turbohaler.
- A video from Asthma and Lung UK on how to use an Accuhaler.
- Green Inhaler: Making your inhaler more environmentally friendly.
- The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare’s Bee Healthy project.
- Key facts on climate change and health from the World Health Organization.
Key take-home points:
- Wherever we live, climate change threatens our health, and it is now the responsibility of all NHS workers to help the NHS to achieve its target of net zero by 2040.
- There are a variety of small, practical steps that we can all make straight away in our workplaces, to help the NHS achieve its goal, and to help to limit climate change.