Green Impact Policy

Updated March 2021

 

Introduction

Frome Medical Practice’s 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.  Sustainability is an aspirational value which we are continually working towards achieving.

The Practice since 2017 has used the NUS RCGP Green Impact Toolkit on an annual basis to ensure we are reviewing our sustainability and also challenging ourselves to make further improvements through a commitment to the scope of the award and undertaking a range of quality improvement initiatives and measures. 

On March 19th 2020 the practice joined Frome Town Council and the RCGP in declaring a Climate Emergency.

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 Frome Medical Centre Consortium.  The Consortium 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 at 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.   Water

5.   Recycling and Waste

6.   Transport and Parking

7.   Purchasing

8.   Paper

9.   Prescribing

10. Carbon Reduction

11. Implementing our sustainability values throughout the practice

12. NUS/RCGP Green Impact Toolkit

 

1. Energy Efficiency and Commitments

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.

The practice has smart meters and plots energy use on a monthly basis and reviews this regularly

The practice helps to reduce its energy costs with Solar Panels

The practice also uses 100% renewable energy suppliers.   (Change made in 2019)

 

Actions from 2021:

To review the Building Management System heating system to see if any further efficiency is possible.

To use our current data on energy to help measure our Carbon Footprint (working with SEE Sustainability).

To investigate other ways to reduce carbon and look with Assura our landlord at Air Source Heat Pumps.

 

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 from 2021: 

To work with The Consortium to replace current lights with LED ones over the next 5 years and to report on progress on this at Consortium meetings

 

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.   The practice also provides oat milk for all staff.  The wider consortium also provides organic milk from Tytherington dairy

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.  We will also continue to have a peer based thank you for staff. These will involve Fair Trade food gifts.

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.

Promoting Plant Based Diets

The practice has a nominated as GP plant based diet champion.  This is currently Andrew Morrice.  We will share information on plant based diets to all clinicians and also encourage clinicians to promote the benefits of eating locally sourced food. As a practice we will also promote campaigns such as veganaury, and meet free Mondays etc.

 

4. Water

Refill Stations

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” campaigns and committed to reducing single plastic cup use.  We have reusable bamboo cups available for patients who need a drink and have forgotten their water bottle.

Water heaters

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

Toilets/sinks

We have low flush WCs installed and use washing up bowls to save water.

Review and Improvement

We are committed to annually review our water use with advice from Wessex Water and also promote water saving ideas to staff

 

5. 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.

Consortium milk bottle tops are collected for the 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 coordinates the recycling of all cardboard, used printer toner cartridges and batteries.

All electrical items including IT equipment can be recycled securely through South Central and West Commissioning Support Unit.  Raise a ticket through the SCWCSU Self Service Portal  https://it.scwcsu.nhs/tools

 

Action from 2021:

To focus on finding other ways to reduce plastic waste and reuse options

 

6. Transport and Parking

Travel Plan

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

Cycle to Work Scheme

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

 

Actions from 2021

The practice is looking to explore electric cars for home visiting and electric bike options for staff and patients.  This plan includes extending the current scheme to allow for electric bike purchase and investing in better bike security.

We continue to be committed to working in ways that help minimise unnecessary travel for both staff and patients.

 

Purchasing

Overall commitment

Sustainable purchasing will be at the centre of all purchasing decisions. 

All staff involved with procurement will undertake sustainable procurement training.

We will ask main suppliers for evidence of a commitment to sustainability.

 

Action from 2021:

To explore additional purchasing options to improve sustainability.  This will include working with Facilities Management as appropriate.

 

8. Paper

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

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

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

Registration Packs

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

 

Action from 2021:

To introduce online registration via Formstack as part of new website by the end of 2021

 

9. Reducing Prescribing and use of unnecessary tests

The practice is committed to reducing polypharmacy and over prescribing.

Action from 2021:

To continue with our focus on reducing Metered Dose Inhalers and encouraging Dry Powder Inhalers to reduce Carbon.

To continue existing work on Opioid antidepressants and Gabapentinoid use as part of de-prescribing projects and focus on lifestyle medicine. To continue to focus on polypharmacy and on minimising drug burden to those with frailty.  This work will be part funded by the National Lottery Climate Action fund.

We will continue to work on our Chronic disease recall and check blood systems to encourage less visits to the practice, reduced tests.  This will also include more focus on lifestyle medicine.

     

10. Reducing Carbon

The practice is fully committed to the NHS Greener campaign to reach Net Zero Carbon by 2020 and is developing a plan to do this (See Appendix 1 for more details of how this will be achieved).

 

11.  Implementing our sustainability values throughout the practice

The practice is highly committed to embedding sustainability throughout the practice, the Frome community and the wider primary care and health care sector and will aim to do this through:

  • Working in collaboration with others.  This will include working with Frome Town Council and Edventure on our joint Climate Action Fund Lottery Application
  • Developing the role of our recently appointed Green Health Connector and measuring the impact of collaborative projects
  • Sharing best practice on our website and by contributing to events and conferences
  • Working with the Centre for Sustainable Health Care by contributing to HEE training resources and offering work placements for Medical Students
  • Working with other practices locally, regionally and nationally
  • Highlighting Green Impact in our recruitment ,appraisal, staff development and reward processes (e.g. supporting local business and sustainable business when giving staff reward vouchers, promoting local businesses who support sustainability)
  • Making Green Impact a part of our newsletters and agendas for meetings
  • Supporting National sustainability campaigns e.g. plastic free July
  • Training staff
  • Focus on work which supports the whole health economy to reduce carbon through continued work to reduce hospital admissions, MDT approach for care and working to reduce frequent attenders and keeping care local. This includes more secondary care use of our outpatients department.
 

12. Commitment to the RCGP and NUS Green Impact toolkit

In 17/18, 18/19  and 19/20 The practice have led the way in primary care being the first practice to achieve both Gold and Gold Plus awards. We also were the first practice to declare a climate emergency.   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.

 

Appendix 1

Frome Medical Practice Plan for achieving Carbon Neutral
 

Area

Action

To work with SEE sustainability to measure our current carbon footprint

This will cover

Patient Travel

Staff Travel  (via travel survey completed in March)

Energy

Procurement

To collate all data by end of March 2021 and submit for analysis

To evaluate our report in May 2021 and focus on any additional changes

Staff Travel

To look at plans to reduce carbon from travel to work through exploring alternatives, home working where appropriate.

To measure NHS miles and reductions we can make through adoption of virtual meetings

Exploring electric bike and car options

Patient Travel

Promoting active transport

Encouraging less visits to the practice through telephone triage, video calls etc. 

Focusing on Chronic disease “one stop” clinics

Procurement

Continued work to improve the knowledge of our supply chains and make improvements which reduce carbon

Energy

To look at how we make the practice carbon neutral for energy.  We currently have 100% renewable energy supplier and solar panels.  The next step is look at alternatives with our landlord such as air source heat pumps.

Medicines and hospital admissions

To look at measuring the carbon footprint of these areas and developing ways to measure impact

Offset

To investigate carbon offset and other measures to reduce impact

Carbon Literacy

To have a carbon literate workforce with 75% having completed training and working towards accreditation in this area so we maximise organisational impact and individual impact.