Changing the conversation about health

5 questions with new Council member Laura Neilson

Laura Neilson is a junior doctor and founder of Hope Citadel Healthcare CIC; a not-for-profit community interest company that provides NHS GP services in Greater Manchester. She sees the College of Medicine (CoM) as a place to “think differently beyond the usual spheres of health and medicine”. In her spare time she enjoys swimming, Pilates, going to church, sewing, watching history documentaries and breaking up squabbles between her three sons

1. What attracted you to become a Council member of the CoM?
It’s a place to think differently beyond the usual spheres of health and medicine and to find creative solutions and ways of working.

2. One of our missions is to work with health organisations, practitioners and patients to foster a spirit of “equal partnership” in health creation. How can this be achieved?
Working with as mixed bunch of people as possible, recognising everyone is an expert in what they have experienced, to really hear hugely different views and in humility and mutuality find the way forward.

3. Through use of an example, how can social and clinical transformation be achieved through social prescribing?
Focussed Care is a model that has been developed to allow the unpicking of hugely complex situations for patients in areas of deprivation, which leads them on a journey of restoration, future and often laughter along the way. It’s just one example of social prescribing in action, there are many more.

4. We believe that “good health” is more than simply avoiding illness. What does “good health” mean to you?
Being whole in who you are, having a community that is flourishing that you can give into and gain support from; to have opportunity for laughter, love and friendship.

5. What difference do you hope to make through your role with the CoM?
I hope to be a support to initiatives and projects that allow wholeness to flourish and new thinking to emerge. I know I will also learn a huge amount along the way.