I have now been a fully fledged fully qualified health visitor out in the world for 6 months. It has FLOWN by. Today I have been reflecting, and I have been so caught up with the day to day running of things, fire-fighting and safeguarding (fellow health visitors I’m sure you know this feeling well!), that I have lost sight of my aims. I wanted to raise awareness of climate change and its potential impacts on health, and to promote sustainability in health care. Upon reflection, I haven’t done much towards my own aims! I suppose being a newly qualified health visitor, I have had priorities of learning to be good at my job and trying to survive in a very challenging role! So now I’ve been here 6 months, how can I move forward?
1. Have the conversations with people. Raise awareness. This sounds simpler than it is! In practice, everyone is so busy that they may not see the importance of discussing climate change.
2. Have a look to see if my new NHS trust has a sustainability policy. I’m sure many of you work in organisations which have such policies, but do you know what they are? Do you even know where to find them? I don’t.
3. Try to cut down my car use. Try to plan my visits a little more effectively where possible. Outside of work, try walking whenever I can.
4. Try to use as little paper as I can! Stop photocopying and printing when I don’t need to!
5. Do they have sustainability champions at work? They may do! I should find out!
What practical steps could we all take to try and make a difference? You don’t have to change the big policies. You just have to do your bit!