Draft patient leaflet on Green Nephrology - comments invited!
Members of the Green Nephrology Network have been collaborating with the National Kidney Federation to develop an information leaflet for patients about Green Nephrology. The leaflet is to be published in March and the full draft text is available to download here.
Please help us to make it as useful and easy to read as possible: post your suggestions for improvements in the Green Nephrology Forum (make sure that you are logged in, and then use the comment box at the bottom of this page) - by Tuesday 24th February.
In particular, we would value any suggestions on the section on what kidney patients and carers can do to support Green Nephrology, copied below.
Dr. Frances Mortimer, Medical Director, Centre for Sustainable Healthcare
DRAFT TEXT [ONE SECTION ONLY]:
What can kidney patients and carers do to support Green Nephrology?
There are lots of things that patients and carers can do to help! Here are a few ideas for you to think about – we would encourage you to try those that seem most practical for you:
Save energy – switch off lights when no longer needed. Turn heating down before you open the windows (not always possible in hospital!)
Save medicines – drugs have a high carbon footprint but, nationally, a significant proportion of the drugs that are dispensed are not used. When ordering repeat prescriptions, try to include only the drugs you need, and if you have concerns about taking any of your prescribed medications, discuss them with your doctor, don’t stockpile! Return out-of-date or unused medicines to the pharmacy for correct disposal.
Recycle packaging – paper and plastic packaging can be saved and recycled: at home, and increasingly on kidney units too. For people on home dialysis, suppliers may be able to collect boxes and packaging for recycling when they deliver the next batch.
Save fuel – depending on your health and where you live, there may be opportunities to travel to appointments by public transport, walking or cycling.
Look after your health – eating carefully, taking exercise and keeping an eye on your blood pressure will help you to stay as healthy as possible. It is also important to understand your kidney condition, to know what to look out for and how to seek help promptly if you are worried.
Make use of PatientView – through the PatientView website you can access your own blood test results from home, without waiting for your next appointment. Many patients find this helpful and are able to take a greater part in managing their condition.
Ask questions – many kidney units are already taking steps to improve sustainability, but there is much more to do! It can make a big difference to know that patients are concerned about environmental issues. Here are some questions that you might ask on your unit:
- Does the unit have a Green Nephrology staff representative?
- Are staff using the correct bins? (only hazardous / infectious waste should be going into the orange bins for incineration)
- Can the unit offer telephone appointments?