We need to make community-powered prevention a valued part of the system, writes Prof Donna Hall in this HSJ article.
Mark Spencer is a GP who has completely reinvented his role.
Tired of sitting in his surgery day after day prescribing medicines to the same people with the same conditions, he decided to get out into the communityand talk to them about what needed to change. The result is Healthier Fleetwood - a remarkable flowering of multiple community-led groups.
The groups cover a wide range of issues from men’s mental health to obesity. But they all share one thing in common - they use the power of human connection and support to prevent illness in the first place rather than simply manage it. This is why there are groups dedicated simply to singing or crafts as a way of keeping people mentally and physically healthy, as well as those more directly focused on “conditions”.
The results speak for themselves - reduced obesity, falling admissions to accident and emergency (pre-covid), and a doubling of GP numbers made possible by more sustainable finances. And, most importantly, dozens of stories of people’s lives transformed, even saved.
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