Zero Hero

Brighton GP helps Primary Care Network achieve sustainability awards

Trust: West Hove Primary Care Network
Location: Brighton and Hove
Name and role: Dr Abigail Fry, GP

Circle image of Dr Abigail Fry

What did Abigail do?

Early in 2023, Dr Abigail Fry spent one day a week helping practices to engage with the Green Impact for Health (GIFH) Toolkit. The aim of this toolkit is to provide a practical set of actions for a practice to track progress towards achieving net zero carbon. GIFH awards (Pioneer, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond) help to recognise the progress made by a practice and demonstrate a commitment to continual improvement.  

Dr Fry worked with all five practices in the West Hove Primary Care Network (PCN). She helped each practice register and to identify how they can achieve awards with quick and relatively simple changes.  

To encourage a little friendly competition, a league table was established that showed how each of the practices was progressing. The practice that won the league for gaining the most additional points, received a hamper of sustainable products. See [below] for a picture Dr Fry awarding the hamper to Portslade Medical Centre.

Why it matters

Primary Care generates 23% of the NHS's carbon footprint, which in itself is about 5% of the nation's entire carbon footprint. This means that there is plenty of opportunity for practices to help reduce carbon emissions to help tackle climate change.

Why Abigail is a Zero Hero - the impact

Three of the five practices have received their Bronze Award and are on their way to Silver.

The winning practice, Portslade Medical Centre received a Silver Award. 

Mile Oak Medical Centre has received a Platinum award. 

In addition to receiving their awards, this collaboration has also helped the West Hove PCN practices to: 

  • Save money by promoting self-care as well as through simple building and administrative efficiencies 
  • Reduce inequalities, such as helping with fuel poverty, social prescribing, and breastfeeding support
  • Improve team working within the practices 
  • Improve networking and collaboration across the PCN
  • Improve planetary health by reducing their carbon footprints 
Portslade Health Centre

Frequently asked questions

More information on the toolkit and awards are available at this information website and you can watch a short video that explains how it works. 

A practice can register on the Green Impact for Health (GIFH) Toolkit website, click on the register button on the right and enter the requested details. You must be a general practice in the UK to register. 

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