GP practices should set an example for society by going green, says a Wiltshire GP whose practice has signed up to a carbon reduction scheme.
RCGP sustainability lead and Great Bedwyn GP Dr Tim Ballard last week signed up to the 10:10 campaign, which urges organisations to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 10 per cent or more during 2010. The campaign calls climate change 'the health issue of our time'.
Dr Ballard's Old School Surgery is the only GP practice among 11 signatories from the NHS. He said: 'I think we have a moral responsibility as physicians to clock what the big health threats are to the population, not only because it's our job to improve health, but because we have a special relationship with society. People trust us.'
The health effects of climate change were something GPs could not ignore, he added.
'There will be an impact from heatwaves, changed disease patterns, water shortages, difficulty feeding populations,' he said.
As part of efforts at his own practice, Dr Ballard said he had changed his car, and was installing an air source heat pump.
To sign up to the campaign, visit www.1010uk.org