GPs in London have received training on how to advise patients to reduce their exposure to air pollution.
In a first-of-its-kind project, 11 GPs in Islington were given the training in February and March, along with four practice nurses, one pharmacist and one physician associate.
The project was funded by Islington Council – which has received £143,832 from the Government in air quality funding – and saw the health practitioners receive an hour’s voluntary lunchtime training on air quality and its impacts.
An Islington Council spokesperson said the training ‘provided valuable information on how to talk to patients about air quality as well as follow-up resources’.
‘Participating practitioners will also have access to ongoing support,’ they added.
Global Action Plan, a partner of the project, said practices taking part would be paid £250 for staff time and input.
A small monitoring study is also being conducted, using hand-held monitors to measure pollution for different routes and travel methods to GP surgeries.
Participants in the pilot scheme have been asked to review the effectiveness of the training, which will inform similar future training in Islington and across the UK.
The project partners are also creating a set of resources aimed to be used as a toolkit by GPs and local authorities elsewhere in the UK.
Researchers have warned that patients from ethnic minority groups who are living in the areas of highest deprivation, including areas with high air pollution, are more likely to be hospitalised with Covid.