Chair: Dr Tom Waterfall
I am a co-founder of the Devon Greener Practice Group and a GP Partner on Dartmoor for the last 10 years. My childhood was deeply rooted in the natural environment with many hours
lost exploring the local woods, many wellies lost in local streams and many memories formed collecting bugs or looking at local wildlife.
As a GP I have installed solar PV on our roof, supported our team to engage with the Green Impact for Health Toolkit, and in partnership with WellMoor (a local wellbeing orgnanisation) created a Practice allotment.
Dr Kat Holden
I am a GP Partner in Tavistock and got interested in environmental issues when I met my now Husband, who had a desire to live off grid and more sustainably. This led to lots of research and changes in how we lived at home, which evolved into bringing these ideas into the
workplace during the pandemic, focusing on active transport and staff wellbeing initially. We formed a wider PCN action group to share ideas and help each other with the GIFH toolkit, but my desire to help make bigger changes led to me seeking out another platform to help
drive more expansive developments. A Devon Greener Practice group seemed the perfect solution.
Dr Jess Parker
I am a GP partner in Barnstaple who tries to encourage people to think of the environmental impact of their decisions, both at work and at home. I have a special interest in prescribing and am part of the Formulary Interface group for Devon. My practice was an early adopter of the Greener Impact for Health Toolkit and has an active Green Committee who try to promote sustainable ways of working and living within the practice community.
Dr Harriet Roberts
I am a GP registrar in Exeter and for the duration of my ST3 year have had the role of education scholar. Having developed an interest in planetary health, I attended the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare two day conference on leadership and carbon footprinting. Following that, I spent a number of years completing projects including a wild flower patch, inhaler switch, and a deprescribing project. I now focus on education and am in the process of incorporating sustainable healthcare into the Exeter VTS teaching programme. More recently I have been involved with some local outreach asylum seeker work, as health inequalities is a particular area of interest.
In my spare time, you can find me getting in touch with nature, be it running, getting in the sea, gardening or simply watching the world go by through the eyes of my toddler.
We formed the Devon Greener Practice Group in early 2023 to try and galvanise the enthusiasm and interest from GPs in the region and to begin Devonwide collaboration amongst the many disparate GP practices.
Our aims and goals are to form a network of GPs and practice staff across Devon to share ideas and learning with a view to develop specific projects going forward, based around estates, prescribing and community engagement. We have created a WhatsApp group to encourage networking and sharing of ideas and will also be utilising and promoting the Green Impact for Health Toolkit.
The core group has representatives from all localities in Devon and we are asking each PCN to nominate a Green Champion to help disseminate ideas locally.
We are currently working with secondary care and the prescribing teams to tighten up the formulary advice around asthma and the move to dry powder inhalers. Talks are also underway with the estates team from the ICS to find ways to help audit the existing GP estate, then to decarbonise and meet the national NHS targets.
Devon is home to 125miles of coastline and two of Englands most famous Moors, the outstanding and culturally rich natural environment provides a hard to rival opportunity to engage and connect with place for our patients and colleagues. Creating enthusiasm and love for the landscape and place in which we work will be a core part of our message to bring climate issues to the fore. Not just to protect the outstanding beauty of what we already have but to maintain the physical, mental, cultural and planetary health for us and our patients.