Letter: Let's go green by stopping unnecessary home visits

Open up any journal and there is a 'go green' mantra. GPs have to take a lead role in promoting, be it healthy living, healthy eating or a go green lifestyle.

Turning off electricity, recycling papers, replacing insulation or changing an old boiler is worth talking about. Try convincing your PCT manager if you work in a PCT-owned building.

Encouraging your patients to become vegetarian or cut down on meat and dairy products? Another impossible task. I'm a vegetarian and if I tell my patients how good I feel, they just laugh.

Stopping unnecessary home visits is the only way forward to go green. A patient requesting a visit should be asked: 'How could they ask or even think of requesting a visit?' They should be reminded about the future of their children and grandchildren. A terminally-ill patient living on their own is visited by their GP, practice nurse, district nurse, phlebotomist, Macmillan nurse, social worker, pharmacist, community matron and sometimes a dietician. Just calculate the carbon footprint. Can that be reduced?

Under a deal between the RCGP and the Carbon Trust, practices will be offered an interest-free loan of £50,000 to invest in green improvements (GP, 11 December).

I say let GPs decide how they would like to invest that money.

If given that money, I will buy a low emission car for myself and a moped for my practice team.

Dr Anita Sharma, Oldham, Greater Manchester

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