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Get to know your GP - part 3

Updated: Apr 19

Moo-free May anyone?
Next to get the celebrity treatment at work is Dr Alex Beach, one of our partners who joined the practice 6 years ago. As well as seeing patients, he mentors medical students at Hull-York Medical School, as well as supervising them during real appointments in the surgery. If you’ve been in a consultation with one of them, we’re grateful for you helping to train the next generation of doctors.
For planet-points, Alex can be spotted cycling round York on his cargo bike, setting a fantastic example of how to navigate the school run without a car. Some of these modern bikes really are like Mary Poppins’ bag, seeming to fit an unbelievable amount of kit on racks, in baskets, tubs, or trailer attachments. And you don’t have to buy one; you can hire them here in York, or further afield. In fact, we’re lucky to have a number of cycle shops locally, and when I found myself the victim of forgetting my bike lock on arrival at York station with only 5 minutes before my train and a very excited toddler in tow, I couldn’t believe my luck that Cycle Heaven had a shop at the station. I was able to purchase a lock quickly, and it’s still going strong several years later. Phew!
Alex’s cycling example is a triple-win: cheaper for him, fewer roadside emissions, and it’s a great way to keep fit. Cycling is even more pertinent as we consider the carbon impact of staff and patient travel. When we had our carbon footprint measured in 2023, 74% was staff commuting. Clearly, we are not as well-placed as our friends in urban practices in terms of bus links and safe cycle routes, but for those members of staff living in places where leaving the car at home at least some of the time is a practical possibility, trying to walk or cycle or share vehicles helps reduce our carbon footprint as an organisation as well as resulting in triple-wins for each individual, just like Alex.
The fitness benefits of non-car travel are really important. Worryingly, about 2/3 of adults in York have overweight or obesity, and approximately 5 children in every classroom will also have an unhealthy bodyweight. Those children will be more likely to struggle to achieve a healthy bodyweight as adults, but we do have the opportunity to help them now. If you’re worried about someone in your family who you think could benefit from our help and input losing weight, please encourage them to get in touch. Even for our patients who struggle to walk due to mobility issues, there are chair-based home workouts that are free and require no fancy equipment! We can help provide information on this, review patients to give them support, and arrange tests, investigations, and referrals where appropriate.
In fact, we're going to be holding 2 very exciting 'Book & Brew' events at the surgery in the coming weeks, showcasing No Meat May, which is a brilliant way to dip your toe in the plant-based water! I'll be in the waiting room all morning on Wednesday 24th April and Wednesday 1st May, meeting patients over a cuppa, chatting about the benefits of going meat-free, and encouraging people to join me for the month of May adding a pledge token to our board! We'll even have a local nutritionist on the 1st of May to answer all your questions. And of course there'll be some new additions to our wellbeing library in the cookery section, to help provide patients and staff with new ideas for affordable, quick, delicious healthy meals. Come on down to our 'Book and Brew' events to find out more!

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