NHS Sustainability Day - 28th March: five ideas for kidney units

Frances Mortimer's picture

Next Wednesday is NHS Sustainability Day...  

NHS hospitals, clinics and wards everywhere will be raising awareness and taking action to reduce carbon and promote health - we want the Green Nephrology Network to join in!

There are lots of ideas and resources on the Sustainability Day website, from furniture amnesties to low carbon meals or sustainability quizzes.

Here are our top suggestions for kidney units and kidney staff:

1. Find out what your Trust is up to and join in!  (They might have registered a project on the Sustainability Day site, or you could check the Trust website/ email your sustainability manager)

2. Dialysis equipment inventory - reduce your dialysis waste.  If you've been meaning to get around to this since we posted our New Year Challenge, maybe now is the time?  See http://sustainablehealthcare.org.uk/green-nephrology/news/2012/01/zero-waste-challenge-2012

3. Energy/ waste audit - there are some useful checklists you can use at: http://www.nhssustainabilityday.co.uk/event_packs/energy_survey/index.html

4. Sponsor a tree in the NHS Forest.  Did you know that the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare also coordinates the NHS Forest programme, aiming to plant 1.3 million trees on NHS land (improving the health of staff, patients and communities)? You or your unit can sponsor a tree at http://nhsforest.org/get-involved

[ibimage==2590==thumbnails==none==self==ibimage_float_right]5. Reduce hypertension: prescribe exercise. Seriously. Brisk walking 30 mins 5 days per week is known to reduce blood pressure, but is not often prescribed with the same clarity and emphasis as other treatments.  Use of a pedometer (cost = under £10) has been shown to increase patient compliance in the short term, and could help your patients to get started.

Recommended dose (McKay):

  • Stage 1: Baseline + 1500 steps 3 days/week
  • Stage 2: Baseline + 1500 steps 5 days/week
  • Stage 3: Baseline + 3000 steps 3 days/week
  • Stage 4: Baseline + 3000 steps 5 days/week

[ Some references:

  1. Whelton SP, Chin A, Xin X, He J. Effect of aerobic exercise on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Ann Intern Med. 2002 Apr 2;136(7):493-503.
  2. McKay J, Walking on prescription: The utility of a pedometer pack for increasing physical activity in primary care, Patient Education and Counseling 76 (2009) 71–76 ]

We'd like to hear what you get up to!  Please post in the Green Nephrology NHS Sustainability Day forum thread.


Walking prescription courtesy of Oxford medical student Emily Clark.

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