What are we up to?

Reducing our carbon footprint from inhaler use

Recently, the practice has signed up to the Green Impact Scheme. The scheme aims to help practices to reduce the impact of healthcare on the environment.  We also hope we can inspire our patients to make positive changes towards the environment too.  You may have seen the community garden developing at the surgery and the new fruit trees. You may have seen Adele walking to work or Henry out and about on his bike.  Over the next few months, I'll share with you some of the things we have been doing to help create a more sustainable practice.

One of the biggest areas we have identified for improvement is the type of inhalers we prescribe to our patients for chest problems such as asthma and COPD.  Some types of inhaler contain propellants which make a significant contribution towards greenhouse gases and our practice carbon footprint.  One type of inhaler has the same carbon dioxide equivalent as that produced driving a car from London to Sheffield.  When I looked at our prescribing over the last year, inhalers were responsible for almost 21 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. At the moment, only 27% of the inhalers we give to patients are 'green'.  In Europe, this figure is more like 50% and in Sweden, they are at 87%.  Most of the time, the 'green' inhalers are the same medicine, but delivered slightly differently, so there should not be much difference for patients.  If our practice could achieve the same use of 'green' inhalers as Sweden, we would see our CO2 equivalent drop to around 9 tonnes per year.

Our plan is to gradually phase in the 'green' inhalers.  We will most likely do this at your asthma or COPD check up.  This means we can show you how to use the 'green' inhalers and make sure that your chest condition remains well controlled.  Please do not stop any inhalers as any hospital treatment needed for a flare up will result in far more greenhouse gases than the inhaler!

Things you can do in the meantime to help reduce the impact of inhalers on the planet include stopping smoking and increasing your exercise (which will improve your lungs and reduce the need for inhalers), only ordering inhalers that you need, and bringing any used inhalers back to the practice for disposal (we can make sure the propellants are denatured and therefore reduce their impact on greenhouse gases). Making sure your inhaler technique is correct will make sure that you get the most out of your medicines and Asthma UK have some helpful videos on their website to support this.

We'll keep you up to date on our progress and the other steps we are taking to reduce our carbon footprint next month.

50-64 years old flu vaccination 2020

As you may have heard the government have announced that patients aged between 50-64 years old will be eligible for a free flu vaccination from their GP Practice as part of the flu vaccination programme.
 
This is a great opportunity for us to protect even more of our patients at a time where there are additional health risks associated with Covid-19 (coronavirus).
 

We are holding an open clinic on Monday 7th December from 4pm to 6pm at Reeth Memorial Hall.

 

No appointment needed – just turn up.

 

Please wear a face covering and make sure we can get to the top of one of your arms.

 

This clinic is for patients 50-64 years only; if you are over 65 and would like a vaccine please contact the surgery.

 

Please be assured that we have put plans in place for you to be able to attend for your vaccine safely whilst following all government guidelines including providing hand sanitising facilities and temperature checks on arrival, social distancing queues around the hall and all staff wearing personal protective equipment.

 

On the day please remember the following:

  • Do not attend if you are feeling unwell or have been asked to self-isolate
  • Attend ready to receive your vaccination – wear a short-sleeve, loose-fitting top
  • Bring a bag for any coats or jumpers as there will be nowhere to put items down
  • Wear a face covering before entering the hall and sanitise your hands
  • Please leave immediately after your vaccination

 

Please help us to share the word and inform anyone who may not be on Facebook or check our website – available to patients registered at Reeth Medical Centre only.

 

We urge anyone who’s in a clinical risk group to take up the vaccination offer when they receive it. It will give them a much-needed layer of protection and there is absolutely no evidence that getting a flu vaccine increases the risk of getting Covid-19.

Flu vaccinations 2020

This year we will be holding two drop-in clinics for you to have your annual flu vaccination.

 

Due to the national pandemic and to be able to continue to follow social distancing guidelines, the clinics will have to run quite differently to usual. We have arranged to hold both of the clinics at Reeth Memorial Hall. Please be assured that we have put plans in place for you to be able to attend for your vaccine safely whilst following all government guidelines including providing hand washing facilities and temperature checks on arrival, social distancing queues around the hall and all staff wearing personal protective equipment.

 

The drop-in flu clinics will be held in Reeth Memorial Hall on Wednesday 16th September and Wednesday 30th September between 11am and 1pm both days.

Please save the dates and plan ahead so that you can attend one of the two above clinics to get your very important annual flu vaccination – we will have very limited availability to offer vaccinations outside of these clinic times due to the extra planning and safety procedures we have to put in place to run these clinics. 

Please note that people in the 50-64-year old age group will not be vaccinated until November and December, providing there is sufficient vaccine, and no appointments will be offered for this age group until then. This is to ensure that those who are most at risk are vaccinated first.  If you are 50-64 and you are in one of the other groups which is eligible for the flu vaccination, for example you have a health condition which puts you at risk from the flu, you are welcome to attend either drop-in clinic.

March 2020: Sustainable Swaledale develops Surgery Garden

We are excited to announce a new project to develop an area of the surgery grounds into some raised beds to grow produce which will be free to anyone.

For further details, and to follow our progress, have a look at the Sustainable Swaledale Blog

10, 000 steps a day in March 2020

 

As a practice we spend a lot of time discussing the benefits of exercise with our patients. Exercise can have many benefits both for the body and the mind. It can help us to look after existing problems such as heart and lung disease. It can also prevent diseases in the future such as cancer and diabetes.

 

We have decided this March to put our money where our mouth is and practice what we preach.

 

The staff will each aim to walk 10,000 steps a day in support of Cancer Research UK. You can track our progress through our Facebook site, practice website and Twitter feed. We'll link our fitbit trackers in with the Twitter feed and post some regular progress reports on Facebook and on this page.

 

Please show your support by liking and following our Facebook page or leaving some comments on our posts. Donations can be made through the secure page on Cancer Research UK.

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