Healthier Planet, Healthier People

Working towards a Greener NHS

Climate change poses a major threat to NHS staff, patients, and their communities. This is because there is a direct link between the health of our planet and the health of our people.
The NHS is acting to reduce the harmful gases it puts into the atmosphere. Fewer emissions will mean fewer patients with asthma, heart disease, and cancer. It will also reduce any disruption to the delivery of the care we provide.
Find out more about the Greener NHS Campaign.
 Official Campaign Website


Moatfield Surgery is committed to sustainability in General Practice, in 2020 we were awarded the BRONZE award for Green Impact activities. 
We have been working towards:
  • Reducing medicine wastage by comparing our prescribing at national and local levels
  • Reducing to almost zero our printed prescriptions.
  • Reducing waste material to reuse and recycle where possible. Reducing our plastic use. Using recycled paper.
  • Reducing the amount of Metered Dose inhalers by considering patients with asthma to use alternative devices- which have a lower carbon footprint.
  • Making patients aware of inhaler recycling schemes locally. Our practice pharmacist and nursing team facilitate both good asthma care and sustainable choices of inhalers. Please speak to the team if you want to review your inhalers.
Moatfield Surgery is a Training Practice, and we are committed to training new GPs, building resilience and workforce sustainability. 
READ MORE about our efforts towards Green Impact for Health.


How Does the Climate Crisis Affect Our Health?

This video from The Grantham Institute illustrates how climate action can improve our health and well-being. 
Climate Change has been named by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the most significant health threat facing humanity. Climate change is already impacting our health in many ways;
Climate change makes us vulnerable to extreme weather events, heat stress, changes to air quality, water quality and quantity, food security and safety etc. which in turn raises our risk of heat-related illnesses, injury and even death from extreme weather events.
It also increases the risk of developing respiratory illnesses such as Asthma or COPD, and affects our Mental and Psychological health.
Climate change makes us vulnerable to:
  • Extreme weather events
  • Heat stress
  • Changes to air quality
  • Water quality and quantity
  • Food security and safety
In turn, this raises our risk of:
  • Heat-related illnesses, injuries and even death from extreme weather events.
  • Developing respiratory illnesses such as Asthma or COPD
  • Affects our Mental and Psychological health.

Read More on the WHO Website

Research is showing that Climate Change is affecting Long-Term Conditions such as Asthma and COPD. We have developed a Long-Term Conditions page with links to various conditions, to help patients work with us to improve the management of their Long-Term Conditions. 
Moatfield Surgery has also developed "Group Consultation" management for long-term conditions, to empower patients to learn from each other, our group facilitators and lead clinicians. 


How Air Pollution affects our Health

What is Air Pollution?


Gases and particles can pollute the air and harm our bodies when we breathe them in. Most of these pollutants are invisible and are so small that they can enter the lungs and bloodstream without us realising. They come from a variety of places including some cleaning products and air fresheners, as well as log burners and vehicles. 

Who is Affected?

Even the most healthy people can be affected by very high levels of pollution. Nobody needs to fear going outdoors, but some may notice worse symptoms when exposed to air pollution. For example, those who are older or have long term conditions like asthma and heart disease may benefit from some small changes to reduce their exposure. 
Just like other triggers of symptoms, the effects of air pollution may be different for some than others with the same condition and we can't predict who will be more affected.


What Can Be Done?


Taking your medicine or inhaler as prescribed, and attending your annual reviews will help to reduce the risk of becoming unwell are a result of air pollution. 
The Clean Air Hub suggests five simple actions we can all make to help improve the air we breathe: 
1. Discover the side streets
Taking routes and twittens that avoid busy roads and walking on the inside of the pavement can make a big difference.
2. Leave the car behind
Walking, cycling and scooting is a great way for the whole family to breathe cleaner air. Pollution levels can be higher inside the car than outside. 
3. Turn the engine off
If you do neeed to use the car, turn the engine off when not moving and safe to do so, especially in car parks and near schools.
4. Check the Pollution Forecast
There are local and national forecasts for air pollution just like the weather. They explain what the different levels of air pollution mean, allowing you to consider when it might be best to make a journey or exercise outdoors. 
5. Keep air clean indoors
Try to use fragrance-free and low-VOC cleaning and DIY Products. When cooking, washing or cleaning, use an extractor fan if you have one, or open windows that are away from busy roads. If you have a log-burner, use it only when you need to and try to use "ready-to-burn" logs only.


Where Can I Learn More?

Scientists are learning more about air pollution every day. Here are some reliable sources of more information:


What is your Eco Footprint?

We all leave an impact on the environment, this individual impact can be measured and is known as your "Ecological Footprint".
Some people may have a larger Ecological Footprint than others, meaning they leave a bigger impact on our planet, perhaps by using more natural resources or by producing more harmful gases.
There are steps that we can all take to improve our climate, and calculating your Ecological footprint could be the first step to making positive changes. 
The WWF has put together this Calculator to work out your environmental impact through your Ecological Footprint. 

Diet and Nutrition

Plant-Based Diets

In a 2019 BBC News article, it was stated that switching to a plant-based diet can help to fight climate change. UN experts have suggested that more people could be fed using less land if people cut down on their meat consumption. You can read more about this in this BBC News Article You might have heard that a plant-based diet is good for the planet, but did you know it is good for you too?
By introducing simple swaps, you can help your diet and the planet! The WWF has put together a guide to making environmentally conscious swaps as part of their campaign, Bring Change to the Table
What are the benefits of a WHOLE FOOD Plant-Based diet?
  • Improved control of Long Term Health Conditions such as Diabetes, Hypertension and Heart Failure. 
  • Reduced Risk of developing long-term health conditions such as Heart Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Obesity, and Arthritis. 
  • Reduced Risk of Dementia and various types of Cancer.
  • Could reverse the effects of Long Term Conditions such as Diabetes. 
  • Improved weight control without calorie counting and portion restriction.

Plant-Based Diet Resources:


The Environment and Your Mental Health

There is increasing evidence that nature-based activities have benefits for physical and mental health, as well as immune functioning. 
People who are connected to nature tend to be happier, due the the many positive emotions that nature generates. Along with a general sense of calmness, being connected to nature can inspire creativity and help to facilitate concentration.
Nature-Based Activities:
  • Go for a Walk or Cycle ride outside - We have some beautiful Local spots such as East Court and The Worth Way
  • Download the Active 10 App from Midsussex Wellbeing
  • Join a "Green Gym" - Mid Sussex Wellbeing has listed some local spots with free outdoor gym equipment
  • Do some Gardening or Conservation - East Grinstead in Bloom is a local group of residents aiming to improve our local environment
  • Grow food, or go Fruit-Picking - Local Pick Your Own farms
  • Be Creative outside - paint a natural scene, or let the nature around you inspire your creativity. 
Mind has put together an extensive list of activities you could try to connect with nature and support your mental health. Alternatively, East Grinstead and District Association for Mental Health offer meaningful activities for people with mental health concerns. 
Local Green Activities



Greener Inhalers

In the UK, approx. 50 Million inhalers are prescribed per year, the majority of these inhalers contain propellants called Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are potent greenhouse gases, meaning each of these 50 million inhalers takes its toll on our environment. 
There are lots of different types of inhalers, this video shows the various inhalers you may use and the environmental impact to be considered. 


Choosing Wisely Campaign

We Support the Choosing Wisely Campaign, which explains how more tests and treatments are not always best for our health or the planet. Too many tests and treatments are not always necessary and can do more harm than good. Often, Medications are necessary to keep us well, and medications should never be stopped or changed without speaking to a healthcare professional.
Most of the emissions in Primary Care come from our Clinical Care, so it's important to us that everything we do is person-centred, backed by evidence and free from harm so that we can ensure healthcare is better for our patients and our planet. This is why Moatfield Surgery engages in Shared Decision Making, to find the course of treatment that is best for you, taking into account your needs and circumstances. 


Climate Friendly Suggestions

We are always looking for resources to improve our website, and to share with people to help our planet, so if you have any Climate Friendly suggestions for Moatfield Surgery, please leave a message for Dr Claudia Williams. You can do so using our Contact Form.


Last Updated 21/05/2024