Letters, calls and emails: How to stop this torrent of waste paper

Dear Editor

I am intrigued whether other GPs are concerned about the amount of paper waste that they are required to discard during the course of a year.  

This waste is now expensive to have taken away and much of  it arises from governmental and quasi-governmental organisations.   

Commonly, boxes of unsolicited leaflets are delivered by ‘hit and run’ agents, who are unable to wait around while the contents are checked and decisions made whether the leaflets have been requested or are required.   

I have today, yet again, emptied a box of glossy pamphlets into the recycling bin — probably at a considerable cost to the tax payer.  

Questions need to be asked about the total cost of all the publications sent to GP surgeries by organisation such as NICE, the DoH, social services and the Benefit Agency to name but a few. In recent weeks we have had a mass of influenza leaflets, children’s vaccination advice booklets, child pneumonia booklets and how-to-access-social-care booklets, as well as the usual glossy NICE and DoH bulletins.  

Is it not more appropriate for a specimen copy to be dispatched, of which practices can then order more copies if they wish? Or perhaps an electronic copy could be sent for approval, now that we are all linked by NHSnet.  

I propose that we should not accept this repository status conferred upon us by a publicity-dependent government.  

We should reject all hit-and-run deliveries and insist that every box of leaflets contains a pre-paid return slip until the message finally gets through.  

Dr Nigel Higson  

Chief paper-recycler, Hove, East Sussex 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Sign outside BMA House

GP suicide sparks calls for measures to protect doctors from spiraling workloads

The government and policymakers must do more to safeguard doctors and NHS staff from...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Living with long COVID

In August we’re bringing you some of the best interviews from series one of the podcast....

NHS sign outside a building

Surrey GP took her own life after her job 'became overwhelming'

A Surrey GP, described as a 'dedicated, passionate and much loved' doctor, has taken...

Jeremy Hunt

Hunt tells Tory leadership hopefuls to halt pension tax charges on doctors now

Former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for an immediate suspension...

GP in consulting room

GPs forced to prescribe antidepressants to young people denied mental health support

GPs are being forced to prescribe antidepressants to children and young people who...

Smartphone

Babylon accounts cast doubt on future of GP at Hand

NHS GP services for more than 100,000 patients registered with the controversial...