Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. As part of our green agenda we are raising awareness about air pollution for the health of our patients. Air pollution kills approximately 7 million people prematurely worldwide, and up to 36,000 people prematurely in the UK.ely to its effects.
The Clean Air Hub
The Clean Air Hub website has collected everything you need to know about air pollution in one place. It includes an air pollution forecast that can help you make decisions about areas you may wish to avoid on high-pollution days.
Particulate matter has a major impact on our lung health. This includes asbestos, cigarette smoke, and dust, among other things. For more information on air pollution and particular diseases, see Asbestos.com; the linked air quality information website is for the USA only. For worldwide and local information on air quality (updated in real-time) Click here. For information on stopping smoking please see Breathe Islington
There are many ways that you can personally support reductions in air pollution and improve your health by reducing car use and choosing to walk, cycle, and scoot if you are able.
Current Pollution Status
Elevated pollution levels surrounding Barnsbery Health Centre are attributed to 8 Bingfield street and the substantial traffic flow in Islington. You can check the air quality outside your home address using this Link.
For any inquiries or discussions about concerns related to the air pollution and its impact on your health, kindly schedule an appointment with one of our clinicians.
Useful Links for what your community is doing
This short video made by GPs in Islington explains about clean air.
What are we doing to be more sustainable?
Our key areas of focus for sustainability are:
- Embedding environmental sustainability into our organisational culture
- Improving our energy efficiency
- Implementing our lighting responsibility plan
- Reviewing Green procurement
- Sourcing food and drink responsibly and avoiding use of plastic where possible
- Reducing waste (including increasing recycling and food waste disposal)
- Promoting sustainable transport (such as cycling or walking)
- Purchasing sustainably
- Reducing our use of paper
- Reducing prescribing
- Implementing the NUS/RCGP Green Impact Toolkit
- Supporting health and wellbeing
Embedding environmental sustainability into our organisation
- Sustainability is one of our core values
- We ask staff to reflect on how they have helped sustainability as part of our appraisals and interview process
- Green Impact is a standing item on agendas for meetings
- We regularly ask our staff to feedback ideas for improvement
- We work collaboratively with our PCN and Islington borough to improve our goals of net zero
- Radiators are turned down where possible
- Equipment is turned off at the end of each day
- Lighting is on timers but lights can also be turned off when not needed
- Energy – gas and electric – is provided via green energy suppliers
Responsible food and drink sourcing
- Commitment to sourcing Fairtrade / local / healthy refreshments when possible
- Avoiding food products that do not use sustainable palm oil
- Purchasing glass bottled locally sourced milk
- Offering plant based oat milk alternative for staff
- Providing tea and coffee for staff which is Fairtrade
- Reducing single use plastic
- Sourcing plastic free tea bags
Waste reduction and recycling increase
- Ensuring only confidential waste is collected for shredding
- All other paper recycled
- Clearly labelled bins in clinic rooms for domestic / recycling / sharps / clinical waste
- Recycling plastic bottles
- Recycling of other materials, including cardboard, printer toner cartridges and batteries
- Encouraging patients to consider switching inhaler use to more sustainable version and encouraging recycling of inhalers at certain pharmacies in (Boots on Seven Sister’s roads Where To Recycle Asthma Inhalers – KnowYourAsthma.com
Reducing our use of paper
- Working towards being a paperless Practice where possible
- Ceasing use of fax machines
- Promoting health education messages to patients via patient information screens in waiting areas, to reduce the use of leaflets
- Setting photocopiers to print double sided by default
- Photocopiers are able to scan and email documents, to reduce printing
- Patient communication uses paperless systems where possible
- Online forms being introduced to website and the use of these to increase
- Facilitating remote consultations through the our patient portals can reduce the need for patients to travel to healthcare facilities, leading to lower carbon emissions associated with transportation. This is especially relevant for routine check-ups and follow-up appointments.
- Striving to enhance care for patients and the planet, the Practice is actively minimizing polypharmacy and overprescribing whenever feasible. Our efforts include:
- Opiate Prescription Reduction: Collaborating with patients, we are diligently reviewing and minimizing opioid use to ensure responsible and effective pain management.
- Over-the-Counter Medicine Reduction: We are committed to reducing unnecessary prescriptions for over-the-counter medicines, promoting a more targeted and sustainable approach to healthcare.
- Inhaler Prescription Optimization: When suitable, we are transitioning prescriptions for inhalers to dry powder inhalers, aligning with eco-friendly alternatives for respiratory care.
- By adopting these practices, we aim to contribute to both individual well-being and environmental sustainability.
Implementing the NUS/RCGP Green Impact Toolkit
- Whole Practice commitment to achieving the NUS / RCGP Green Impact Award
- Commitment to support the National Green Impact Agenda to reduce carbon emissions in line with the 2030 United Nations Sustainability Development Goals
- Supporting other Practices and providers to implement the Green Impact Award
At Barnsbury Medical Practice, our focus is on providing high-quality care and ensuring you have the correct prescriptions for your health. However, the NHS faces a substantial annual loss of £300 million due to medication waste, and 50% of people do not take their prescribed medication as directed. If you have questions about your medication or unnecessary prescriptions, please contact the practice or schedule a medication review with our pharmacy technician for personalised assistance. Your well-being is our priority.
Go Green order Online!
Using the NHS App to schedule appointments and order repeat prescriptions online is saving thousands of patient journeys to GP practices monthly. As sustainability is a top priority for our practice, steps are taken to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint.
For more information , Click here
Variable repeat medications
Variable repeat medications are those that you need every so often (not every month). These should only be requested when you require them. If a pharmacy is requesting on your behalf, please only select the medication you need from the list. If you are regularly requesting your variable repeat medications you may be asked to book in for a medication review.
Inhalers and environmental; considerations
Inhalers are vital for a range of respiratory conditions. You must take your inhalers as prescribed. We run an inhaler device check service with our pharmacy technician if you are unsure how to use your inhaler or need support. We are also reviewing optimising inhalers to dry powder inhalers (DPIs). These are beneficial as you do not require a spacer to take them, they have a dose counter to know how much you have left and can be absorbed into the lungs using deep breath in. You can have a look on the Asthma UK website for inhaler use.
We are committed to environmental consciousness, and this extends to our inhaler choices. Certain inhalers are more environmentally friendly than others. Explore the Green Inhaler website for further information. It’s crucial not to discontinue your inhaler without consultation. If you have concerns or wish to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our clinicians.
Polypharmacy (taking lots of medications)
Polypharmacy is a term used to describe people taking multiple medications (usually 5 or more). 1 in 5 hospital admissions in over-65s are caused by the adverse effects of medicines. We try to discuss with patients about their medications and talk to you about your medication at your medication reviews.
If you no longer need your medication please make sure you return them to the pharmacy for disposal and do not put into your household recycling. This is because harmful chemicals from medications can go into waterways and damage wildlife. There are some local recycling opportunities for blister packs at Superdrug Seven Sisters Road and inhaler recycling for inhalers at Hornsey road.
Over the counter medications
Where possible we follow NHS guidance to reduce prescribing of over-the-counter medications.
The Pharmacy First scheme is available for those who are vulnerable or on a low income, please see the information here.
We continuously review our prescribing processes and how medications are managed to make sure you have the right medication for you.
Sustainable Practices at Barnsbury Medical Practice
Join Us in Going Green!
At Barnsbury Medical Practice, we’re committed to sustainability, and we want you to join us on this journey. Here are some practical and mostly health-related changes you can make to help the environment and save money. If you have additional ideas or thoughts on how we can enhance our sustainability efforts, we’d love to hear from you. Consider joining our Patient Participation Group (PPG) meetings, where sustainability is on the agenda. For more information visit our PPG page
- Walk or cycle to your appointments whenever possible—our practice offers convenient cycle racks.
- Opt for public transport to reach us or other destinations. Check the TFL website for the best routes.
- Consider using trains instead of driving for longer distances and aim to reduce air travel.
- Download the NHS App to can help reduce the need for paper-based processes, such as physical appointment letters, prescriptions, and medical records. This contributes to saving trees and reduces the environmental impact of paper production.
- Stay informed with health education messages on our patient information screens, reducing the need for paper leaflets.
- Explore our website for a wealth of information on registration, online appointments, clinics, and services. We regularly update a dedicated section with all things new at Barnsbury.
- Embrace online forms instead of paper-based ones. They’re easy to use, and our Patient Services team can assist if needed.
- We’re actively reducing polypharmacy and overprescribing, promoting discussions with patients to ensure the best outcomes.
- Explore alternative ways to manage your condition, such as through diet, exercise, and support groups, which can reduce the need for excessive medication.
Support for Health and Wellbeing
- Join us as a Parkrun Practice and participate in the local Parkrun every Saturday at 9 am in Finsbury Park. It’s an opportunity to stay fit, enjoy the outdoors, and volunteer if running isn’t your preference.
Healthy Diet & Plant-Based Living
- Consider adopting a predominantly wholefood plant-based diet for improved health and reduced environmental impact. Visit British Dietician’s Association and Plant-Based Health Professionals for more information.
- If you’re contemplating major dietary changes, ensure proper supplementation of vitamin D and B12 and seek advice from healthcare professionals if needed.
Food Surplus Collection
- Combat food waste and support those in need by checking out FareShare, a charity collecting surplus food from supermarkets.
Seek Professional Guidance
- Discuss major dietary changes with a health professional, and refer to resources such as NHS Eat Well Guide and Plant-Based Health Professionals for additional insights.
Let’s work together towards a healthier and more sustainable future at Barnsbury Medical Practice!
36,000 people succumb prematurely to its effects.