So why, after four years, have I decided to restart my blog Health Matters?
Well this year both myself and the NHS share a chronological milestone and it seems that we may also have reached significant milestones in our respective careers. For the health service this may mean re-creating its contract with the people Nothing less than a renewal of the NHS. For me it means re-dedicating myself to helping the service meet this new challenge.
What I want to explore in this blog is how this renewal will need more than the people’s money. If the NHS is to thrive the community itself will need to come to its aid because on its own the NHS cannot solve society’s growing problems of mental and physical ill health. I want to explore how society can help the NHS in its work of creating – to use Bevan’s word – “serenity” for the public. We need the wider society to work harder to limit the causes of ill health. We need that wider society to play a bigger role in reducing health inequalities. We need voluntary organisations to help nurses and doctors maintain and improve people’s health. We need all the public services to work together in a coordinated way.
There is evidence that the public genuinely love their NHS, but they will need to give much more than money to help it thrive given the problems it is currently trying to solve.
But we also need the NHS to learn to accept that as a part of its medical mission it needs a lot of social and psychological help with the task of curing disease. It cannot achieve its mission on its own.
And as often as possible that is what this blog will be about.