Opinion

Boards eye view

Why taking matters in to your own hands is best for your health.
Amanda Burston

Despite planning and public wellbeing campaigns, the health of the population continues to deteriorate due to lifestyles which contribute to a variety of health conditions.

Public Health England states the cost of caring for the public is in excess of 11 billion and showing no signs of abating.

Historically, lifestyles have been adapted in conjunction with medical advances to combat many disease processes, like diphtheria, polio, smallpox and scurvy, HIV and Aids.

Public cure

However, todays killers diabetes, obesity, cancer, lung associated diseases and drug/alcohol complaints can all be attributed to public choice and lifestyle. The cure, therefore, lies with the public.

The NHS faces unprecedented financial pressures and is crumbling under the weight of public expectation. But if individuals accept responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, this could all change.

Health challenge

Mark Spencer, a

...

Despite planning and public wellbeing campaigns, the health of the population continues to deteriorate due to lifestyles which contribute to a variety of health conditions.

Public Health England states the cost of caring for the public is in excess of £11 billion and showing no signs of abating.

Historically, lifestyles have been adapted in conjunction with medical advances to combat many disease processes, like diphtheria, polio, smallpox and scurvy, HIV and Aids.

Public cure

However, todays killers – diabetes, obesity, cancer, lung associated diseases and drug/alcohol complaints – can all be attributed to public choice and lifestyle. The ‘cure’, therefore, lies with the public.

The NHS faces unprecedented financial pressures and is crumbling under the weight of public expectation. But if individuals accept responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, this could all change.

Health challenge

Mark Spencer, a GP in Fleetwood, is challenging his town to become the healthiest place to live in the UK. He is inspiring the locals to stand and be proud, to make a difference, asking them to engage with exercise, address overeating and improve diet, and encouraging smokers to kick the habit.

Dr Spencer is confident that taking a community approach can improve the physical and mental health of all involved. This community-focused project is looking to succeed where national health campaigns have failed, talking the local language and addressing local needs, with local partners like Blackpool FC getting on board.

The NHS ethos has always been about an organisation owned by the public, for the public.

As stakeholders in the NHS, the public needs to choose to save and protect it, or see the current problems continue to escalate leaving it fragile and unable to cope and deliver any sort of service. 


About the author

Amanda Burston

Amanda Burston is major trauma coordinator at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Staffordshire, and a member of the Emergency Nurse advisory board

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