The Green Impact for Health project has been developed for General Practice by the National Union of Students, GPs, trainees and medical students. It is supported by University of Bristol, NHS Health Education South West and the Severn Faculty of the RCGP. The web-based programme is designed to improve the environmental performance of general practice while saving money and ensuring that the way we provide our services offers the greatest benefit to society as a whole.
The motivation behind the project was a response to increasing awareness of the relationship between health, the environment and the impact that the provision of healthcare can have on the environment and wider society. The project was based on the highly successful Green Impact. A few examples are:
- Encouraging the use of social prescribing
- Referring patients at risk of fuel poverty for support and advice
- Reducing office waste eg. through double sided printing
- Facilitating the use of the GSK Inhaler recycling scheme
- Having a policy in place to facilitate GPs wishing to cycle to home visits
- Encouraging the use of BMJ e-learning on climate change and Health
The scheme has actions for practices at all stages of engagement with sustainability. It gives credit to teams for work already being done and encourages them to do more. Every practice that completes the actions and criteria and submits by the deadline will receive a Green Impact for Health certificate; and practices can gain either bronze, silver or gold awards depending on how many points they receive for the evidence they have submitted.