What Patients Can Do

Find out what you can do to be more sustainable

As well as the things we are doing as a Practice to be more sustainable, 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 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, near our main front doors.

You might also want to think about other ways to reduce your use of plastic – some websites to visit include Friends of the Earth and WWF.

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? Our onsite Castlegate Dispensary can help with this. They will dispose of your unwanted or used inhalers through our recycling scheme, the greenhouses gases that remain inside will be destroyed, ensuring they do not do harm to the environment.

If you have asthma our Nurses will advise you if you are suited to a dry powder inhaler when you have your annual review. 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 from our Dispensary or nurses.

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 Dispensary 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.

Using sustainable transport

Walk or cycle to the Practice for your appointments where possible – we have plenty of cycle racks here that you are welcome to use.

Use public transport where possible – to get to your appointments at the practice or elsewhere.

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. We are also looking at creating QR codes for all of our leaflets, so you can scan and read to help our paper usage.

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

We support patients to improve their health and wellbeing, for example through working closely with many local groups including Age UK, Carer Support West Cumbria, Linking Lives.

We encourage patients and staff to take part in local Parkruns. This is a chance to get fitter, enjoy the outdoors and meet new people. If you don't want to run (or walk) the route then you can always join in by volunteering.

We encourage patients to use resources available on our website to help them support their health and wellbeing

We promote a series of health and wellbeing campaigns each year, for example on specific topics such as alcohol use or on seasonal health issues such as the flu vaccination. Alongside local and national campaigns and support groups.