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Awards for Kent and Medway GP surgeries

User AvatarPosted by at 06/12/2012 11:30:44

GP surgeries from across Kent and Medway have won awards for making their practices more carbon aware.

And in the process they have been able to reduce energy bills and improve the way their staff and patients contribute to making the planet a better place.

The surgeries listed below have all taken part in the 2012 Sustainable Surgeries Award Scheme for Kent and Medway, which has been endorsed by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and Local Medical Committee in Kent.

The award scheme is the first known initiative of its kind in the UK and is designed to help GP practices develop carbon management skills. The scheme aims to increase awareness of the long term risks to health from climate change and other environmental issues.

Dr Caroline Jessel, Medical Adviser and Sustainability Lead for NHS Kent and Medway, said: “As GPs take over responsibilities for commissioning healthcare services it is vital that practices develop carbon management skills and awareness in order to improve efficiency, manage budgets and reduce carbon emissions in the future. Many carbon saving initiatives also have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of staff and local residents.

General practitioners are justly recognised as innovators with a very holistic approach to healthcare, which is why they are best placed to lead the change in thinking required to tackle this agenda.

We’re impressed by the steps made by many of the GP practices taking part in this year’s awards.”

The surgeries which have won awards are:

  • Hadlow Medical Centre, Hadlow (Bronze)

  • Stockett Lane Surgery, Coxheath (Bronze)

  • Burgess Bank Surgery, Yalding (Bronze)

  • St Andrews Medical Centre, Southborough (Silver)

  • Marlowe Park Medical Centre, Strood (Silver)

  • Chartham Surgery, Chartham (Silver)

  • Orchard End Surgery, Cranbrook (Silver)

  • Thames Avenue Surgery, Rainham (Silver Gilt)

  • Northgate Medical Practice, Canterbury (Silver Gilt)

Benefits of the scheme for GP practices include:

  • improves efficiency, budgets and reduces carbon emissions

  • improves the health of the population

  • releases cash to spend on further improvements to surgeries

  • opportunities to generate income

  • improves reputation of the surgery

  • implements ideas to realise real, tangible savings and more efficient working

  • stimulates and rewards innovation.

A pilot programme was run with six GP practices last year which achieved huge success.

Surgeries have taken steps such as turning off their heating earlier, improving insulation, labeling switches so staff know what to turn off at night, installing solar panels and improved recycling. In some cases, staff are also cycling to work.

Higher level awards have gone to those practices who have successfully engaged staff and patients in this agenda and have developed innovative ways of working.