God (or someone!) Save our Health System!
The NHS published their "Forward View" in October 2014 as their proposals on how our health care system should take form. They looked at initiatives and focused on areas that have been left wanting in the past.
"Radical upgrade to prevention and public health" was so key it was included in the executive summary, and in bold type no less.
Yet here we are, in 2016, fighting tooth and nail to keep the funded services that we provide, but not only that - we want to expand! We have contemporaries around the country, and we are all shouting about the same thing - PREVENTION.
Here at Core Health Consultancy, we often band about this quote from Robert H Butler: "If exercise could be purchased in a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation". It's not rocket science is it? Even our NHS says so: "It can reduce your risk of major illness, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%". Wow. Exercise is quite something hey?
What I am struggling to comprehend right now though is, with all this in mind, with our own health care providers agreeing that exercise is king; then why are we compromising the services for our communities?
Our NHS funded classes look after people with a fear of falling, and patients with neurological conditions. Many of our clients are experiencing several long term health conditions at once. Do you know how wonderful it is to see a client, who usually walks with a stick, bomb around the class, beaming because of the skills we have taught them? And what about the client suffering with depression who comes into our sessions feeling down; but leaves with a beaming smile having spent time with people who understand? It is FABULOUS to see!
Our classes are just a small snapshot of what we can do - there is so much more territory to cover. My own journey through survivorship following cancer for instance - how exercise rehabilitation classes got me away from a pain fuelled, poor mobility life; and now I'm weight training! And healthy! Where would I be had I not found those classes?
I can tell you: I'd probably be over weight and out of shape. I could well be depressed. I would definitely be in pain of some description. I might not be working. I could be leaning on our healthcare system in many ways; vouchers for slimming club, medication, psychotherapy, hospital appointments, GP visits… Oh not to mention the added pressure on the Department of Work and Pensions to pay my benefits.
I'm not pointing fingers at us, the people managing health conditions in their own ways. I am however furious that the "powers that be" are not helping their own nation become more healthy and active. We need MORE funding from commissioners for classes like cancer rehab, balance & stability, RENEW; not less! How about people managing diabetes? Exercise! Poor heart health? Exercise! Stressed? Exercise! At CHC we can address this in a safe, inclusive environment; with expert trainers. We can replicate our programmes to train others in delivery across the country. It is baffling me that the NHS is tightening purse strings on these collaborations and activities.
The NHS does so much good, honestly, I love our system! I'm here, typing this, thanks to them! Just imagine though how much better it could be if they only took lead from their own words - "Radical upgrade to prevention and public health".