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Switching to sustainable medication

Organisation: First Community
Location: Surrey

Evolving Care

What's the idea?

First Community adopted Surrey-wide prescribing changes to support GP’s with introducing more sustainable inhalers where clinically appropriate (the use of Salamol instead of Ventolin) and stock has been changed accordingly.

In addition, they created a leaflet to educate asthma and COPD patients on inhaler use. This includes how to use them most effectively ( a preventative inhaler used well will reduce the need for a Salamol inhaler overall).

medication on shelf in pharmacy

Impact of the project

Reduces carbon pollution

Salamol MDI has less than half the carbon footprint of Ventolin evohaler as it contains far less propellant gas in the device. This means that less harmful gas is released into the atmosphere when it is used.
blue ventolin inhaler

Improves inhaler technique

Using an inhaler well actively helps to minimise carbon pollution, thereby reducing its effects on our climate and therefore on respiratory health. It also helps to better manage respiratory conditions.
Healthcare professional checking oxygen of patient

Waste reduction

An inhaler used properly means less waste, on average 7 out of 10 inhalers are thrown away with some medicine still inside.
row of industrial bins

How you could implement a similar idea

Talk to colleagues about how best to educate patients in your care about the best use of an inhaler – it could be a leaflet, or a short film clip, or a poster, or even just a guide for consistent conversations with all patients.  Once you know how you’d like to communicate with your patients, speak to your Trust communications team to see what support is available.

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