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The UK's primary care sustainability network

Sharon Pfleger – Medicines and the Environment – 25/05/22

We are really excited to tell you that Sharon Pfleger NHS Highland Public Health Consultant agreed to speak to the National Greener Practice Group about the impact of medicines on the environment particularly their effect on our water.

Sharon currently works in NHS Highland as a Consultant in Pharmaceutical Public Health. Her role focusses on the use of medicines at a population level- developing policy and practice covering anything that involves the use of a medicine from “postcode prescribing”, vaccination, emergency planning, value for money and making difficult decisions in healthcare. Throughout the pandemic she has been Programme Lead for Vaccines helping to plan the COVID vaccination programme in the Highlands.

Some years ago she became acutely aware that healthcare, especially the use of medicines, is impacting on the environment and contributing to climate change which is damaging not only the planet’s health but that of our public too. This led her to become a founding member and NHS Highland lead of The One Health Breakthrough Partnership establishing a close relationship with Scottish Water, SEPA and the Environmental Research Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands where she is now an Associate. The OHBP is currently focussed on the impact of pharmaceuticals on the water environment and today Sharon told us about some world leading work in Caithness Hospital.