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Get to know your GP - part 2

Here we are again; the second chapter in this quest to introduce our hard-working GPs, and today it’s the turn of Dr Elizabeth Watts to make her glamorous cameo appearance centre stage. Many of you will know Elizabeth as earnest, kind, and softly-spoken, so it won’t surprise you to hear that until recently she split her week between working at OSMP and St Leonard’s Hospice (where she was part of the team for 16 years). She has now moved into a role as Lead for Palliative Care in the practice and we are very grateful for her expertise.

During our progress to become more sustainable, Elizabeth was one of the first clinicians to wear a reusable facemask, acknowledging that these were lower carbon footprint and would hopefully also reassure patients that single-use plastic items often have a safe, effective alternative that is not harmful to the planet. In fact, in 2020 OSMP's reusable masks came from the same company who supplied drapes and reusable PPE for the world's first carbon neutral abdominal operation in Birmingham in 2022. See, we were in the vanguard of innovation before much of the rest of the country!

As well as this, Elizabeth promotes active travel by cycling to work; you may see her pedalling around Copmanthorpe village on Fridays doing home visits. When we had our carbon footprint measured last year, staff travel was a staggering 74% of our total emissions, so by moving to more sustainable forms of transport (such as walking, cycling and using local buses) we will improve our impact on the health of the planet.

And finally, the beady-eyed patients among you will see Elizabeth has a reusable water bottle on the desk in her room: more planet points! In 2019 OSMP signed up to become a ‘Refill’ practice, which means we encourage patients, local residents, and passers-by to bring their own water bottle to Reception for us to replenish the contents. Just sign up to an app here to view the many locations nationally that offer this free service, so you can plan trips out with plenty of free water-stops. Why not see how many you can tick off? We wanted to be part of this movement that encourages better hydration (and a move away from the scourge of disposable plastic bottles), highlighting the enormous benefits of water over other liquids. Currently we are supporting a big push to counter the rise in diabetes, obesity, and mental health problems, where ultra-processed drinks such as squash, cordials, and fizzy drinks, are full of calories and harmful additives not conducive to physical or emotional wellness. So, being a registered Refill station is another way we can support local people to stay healthy and happy.

Next time you’re in the waiting room and you need a drink, take your bottle over to Reception (past our handsome Wellbeing Library, ahem, more about that soon!) and our brilliant team will refill it for you with Yorkshire’s finest!

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