Sustainability - what can patients do?

Find out what you can do to be more sustainable

As well asthe things we are doing as a Practice to be more sustainable (which you can read here), we are encouraging patients to be more sustainable too. Below are some ideas of small , often health related, changes you can make which can help the environment, and which can also often save you money too.

If you have other ideas about what we can do as a Practice to be more sustainable please let us know. Likewise if you’ve thoughts on what patients can do more or less of to help the environment we would love to hear from you. Contact us here to share your thoughts.

Sustainability is also a standing agenda item on Patient Participation Group meetings.

Reducing the use of single use plastic and sourcing food and drink responsibly
  • You can reduce your use of single use plastic by using a refillable water bottle. If you are ever at the Practice and need a refill you can and fill it from our water refill station, in the atrium. Many businesses in Frome are part of the Refill Frome scheme, making it much easier for you to stay hydrated, reduce the need to buy single use plastic bottles and save money. More information available here.
  • We are lucky in Frome to have a number of shops that encourage plastic free shopping. These include Denude (a great range of refills available including cleaning, personal hygiene and food products), Oakville Care Centre (cleaning products, shampoos, shower gels etc all available as refills), Frome Wholefoods (refills for cleaning products, shampoos etc and home delivery by bike), The Garden Café Next Door (food products and olive oil available to refill) and Resident (handwash, shower gel, washing up liquid etc available as refills) Let us know if you’re aware of other places locally that encourage refills / plastic free shopping.
  • You might also want to think about other ways to reduce your use of plastic – some websites to visit include Plastic Free Challenge and City To Sea.
  • One of the biggest environmental impacts you can have as an individual is to reduce the amount of meat and diary you eat. If you want to try this, even on just one or two days of the week, there is lots of support available to you. Take a look at Veganuary and Meat Free Monday for ideas if you're interested in this or try something like Dairy Free Tuesdays. There are lots of recipes online to inspire you if you want to make small changes to what you eat. 
  • Where possible, buy Fair Trade products because, as well as ensuring decent working conditions, terms of trade and prices for producers, it also ensures local sustainability where products are grown / produced.
Reducing waste and increasing recycling
  • Did you know you can recycle your inhaler? Several pharmacies in Frome will take used inhalers from you for recycling - including St Aldhelm's, Boots and ASDA. All these pharmacies take part in the GSK Asthma Inhaler Recycling Scheme.
  • If you have asthma the Practice Nurse will advise you if you are suited to a dry powder inhaler. Dry powder inhalers are much better for the environment and are often the  best choice for our health. More information about Dry Powder Inhalers,  the impact of Metered Dose Inhalers and why we should switch away from using these is available here
  • Some patients need to continue using Metered Dose Inhalers. Where this is the case we are encouraging patients to ensure they've used every dose from that inhaler before returning it to the pharmacy for recycling. 
  • As a Practice we are looking at how we can reduce prescribing in order to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce waste. Please talk to your health care professional if you have concerns about this. 
  • Rather then gifting friends and families with items they might not really want, patients might be interested in giving a gift with a sustainable difference. For example, the charity Avon Needs Trees aims to reforest areas of the River Avon catchment - helping to restore woodland, enhance bio-diversity and give natural flood management, as well as water and air quality improvement, and provide more public amenity space. You can order a gift card from Avon Needs Trees here
Using sustainable transport
Reducing the use of paper
  • We promote health education messages to patients via the patient information screens in waiting areas, to reduce the use of paper leaflets - please keep your eye out for key messages we share on the screens. 
  • Patients can also find a great deal of information on our website – whether they want to know about how to register, making appointments online and about our different clinics or services. Patients can also find out about ways to improve their health and wellbeing on our website too.
  • We are also starting to encourage patients to use online forms, rather than paper based forms, and these are gradually being introduced to the website
Reducing prescribing
  • Where possible, the Practice is reducing polypharmacy and over prescribing. We will only reduce medications in the best interest of the patient and may also be able to promote other ways you can help manage your condition, for example through diet, exercise and support groups. Using other forms of support can help reduce the need for, or the amount of, medication prescribed - which is good for you and good for the planet. 
Supporting health and wellbeing