Green Impact Policy

Introduction

Frome Medical Practices core purpose is to “support your health” This reflects our commitment to supporting our patient’s health, our colleague’s health, our own individual health and the wider health of the community and the environment. 

Our purpose is achieved by a commitment to 3 core values of Sustainability, Responsibility and Learning.

Focusing on the NUS RCGP Green Impact Award has been a perfectly timed opportunity for our practice to focus on putting these core values into action.  Sustainability is an integral part of the award, and it also challenges us to look more closely at our responsibilities, with plenty of opportunities to improve learning through Quality Improvement projects and measurement and evaluation of some of our current practices.

The purpose of the policy is to create a live document for new and existing staff to demonstrate the areas where we have made commitments and identify areas where we can work to make improvements.

Frome Medical Practice is the largest tenant of Frome Medical Centre.  Many policies relating to Green Impact will be held by the Consortia.  The Consortia has a contract with a Facilities Management team.  Frome Medical Practice has commitment to working with other tenants and the facilities management team to both review and reduce energy costs and improve our actions across the practice.

All staff and Frome Medical Practice are encouraged to contribute both to ideas for improvement and ensuring best practice is maintained

The key areas covered in this policy are:

1. Energy Efficiency

2. Lighting Responsibility Plan

3. Food and Drink

4. Recycling and Waste

5. Transport and Parking

6. Purchasing

7. Paper

8. Reducing Prescribing

9. NUS/RCGP Green Impact Toolkit

 

1. Energy Efficiency

The practice uses an air cooling system and underfloor heating.

It is important that temperature is regulated. Windows should not be opened when this system is in operation

Individual radiators in rooms should be turned down where possible to save energy and windows closed.

All appliances including computers should be turned off at the end of each day.

Lights are all on a timer, but please still turn off the lights when not needed such as on bright sunny days.

Action: To source green energy suppliers for Gas and Electricity  (Gas – changed to ecotricity in Ocotber 2019, Electricity to be renewed in November 2019)

 

2. Lighting Responsibility Plan

All lights are fitted with sensors.

As we do not all have a consistent finish time All staff are responsible for switching off lights and other equipment.

The last person in the admin room is responsible for also shutting down any areas which have not yet been shut off by the sensors.  Instructions and room areas have now been clearly labelled on the lights to assist with this.  Light switches should be held down for 2 seconds to switch off.

Evening staff are responsible for doing a building sweep and ensuring all areas are shut down in the library and other Frome Medical Practice areas not in use. 

Action:  To work with The Consortium to replace current lights with LED ones over the next 5 years.

 

3. Food and Drink

Tea and Coffee

The Practice provides tea and coffee for all staff.  We are committed to ensuring all products have the Fairtrade label.  Organic milk is sourced locally from Tytherington Milk Station local dairy.  All plastic bottles are returned to Tytherington for recycling.

Meetings

Staff and Practice Meetings:  Frome as a community has a strong commitment to buying Fairtrade locally sourced products. When hosting meetings we are committed to buying healthy and where possible locally sourced products. On the rare occasion that lunches are sponsored we request Fairtrade and local food is sourced.

Fairtrade Fortnight

We are committed to raising awareness of Fairtrade through celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight in March of each year. This will be linked with promoting local community events and shops which promote Fairtrade

Celebrating and sharing food together

The practice is committed to regular bring and share lunch days to support each other and create opportunities for staff to eat together.  These events will be promoted in our weekly Bulletin and staff are encouraged to bring a dish.

Water

In 2018, the practice stopped using plastic cups and installed a refill water bottle station.

The practice is an active member of the Refill Frome and “say no to plastic” campaign and committed to reducing the single plastic cup use.  We have reusable bamboo cups available for patients who need a drink and have forgotten their water bottle.

Our kitchen spaces and Admin areas are installed with water heaters for tea and coffee to reduce energy use.

 

4. Recycling and Waste

Confidential waste is collected in specific labelled bins and is collected for shredding.  Other paper is separated for recycling

All clinical rooms have clearly labelled bins for domestic waste, confidential waste, sharps and clinical waste

Milk bottle tops are collected for air ambulance and milk bottles are collected separately for plastic recycling. Tytherington plastic dairy bottles are collected for return for recycling.

The facilities management company coordinate the recycling of all cardboard, used printer toner cartridges and batteries.

Action: To focus finding other ways to reduce plastic waste.

 

5. Transport and Parking

Travel Plan

The practice promotes walking, cycling and car sharing to reduce environmental impact and measure this on an annual plan.

Cycle to Work Scheme

The practice supports the cycle to work scheme. All staff interested should contact Human Resources.

 

6. Purchasing

Sustainable purchasing will be looked at more closely over the next 12 months.  Recent changes include Fairtrade tea and coffee purchasing and changing our paper purchasing to recycled paper.

Action: To explore additional purchasing options to improve sustainability.  This will include working with Facilities management as appropriate. To look at procurement training with a focus on sustainability.

 

7. Paper

We are aiming to work towards becoming a paperless practice in as many areas as possible.

Fax

The use of fax has been phased out over the last 6 months, and alternative arrangements put in place.

Patient Information Screens

Health education messages are displayed on screens in patient waiting areas to reduce the use of leaflets.

Sustainable Paper

All our paper purchased has a 70% recycled content from FSC sustainable sources

Photocopying

Our photocopiers which print double sided by default and enable documents to be scanned and emailed to reduce paper use. There is the option to delete at the photocopier before printing if print is no longer required.

Paper Reuse

Trays are available to collect non confidential one sided paper, which are made into note pads.  There is also an area to collect and reuse envelopes

Email Signatures

Staff are encouraged to add the ‘Think before you print’ logo to their email signatures

Electronic Communication

Action: The practice uses Mjog and AccuRx wherever possible to reduce the use of paper for all patient communication

Registration Packs

Action: Packs were reviewed and information condensed and unnecessary forms and leaflets were removed but mentioned as available on request to reduce paper used.

Action: To introduce online registration via formstack as part of new website (by April 2020)

 

8. Reducing prescribing

The practice is committed to reducing polypharmacy and over prescribing.

Action 2019/20.  To reduce Opiates and reduce items that can be self prescribed and bought over the counter.            

    

9. Commitment to the RCGP and NUS Green Impact toolkit

In 17/18 and 18/19 The practice have led the way in primary care being the first practice to achieve both Gold and Gold Plus awards.

The practice is committed to the areas audited by the toolkit.  

The practice is also committed to supporting the National Green Impact Agenda to reduce carbon emissions in line with the 2030 UN Sustainability development goals.  They are also committed to supporting and encouraging other practices to do the same.