On 2nd December 2015, AbbVie and the College of Medicine presented the ‘Sustainable Healthcare – Turning Concepts into Reality for Individuals and the NHS Conference’ at King’s Fund.
The venue was filled with great people and as the event progressed it was obvious that they were all committed to working towards a sustainable service.
With health at the centre, it became clear to me, a final year adult nursing student, that the meaning of true ‘service’ exists where individuals and their lives are placed at the centre, not their conditions, nor the clinicians providing their care. We discussed, as is commonly in the press, that this service is in need of change to keep up with advances in science, technology and an ever-changing health landscape. Where older age and survival of many conditions bring their own challenges, an onus on quality of life and lifestyle became apparent to me. Where prevention must be seen as better than cure, it became obvious that a vanishingpublic health agenda must be readdressed.
Present at the conference were a variety of individuals, some with conditions, some clinicians and some in policy. All agreed that a sustainable healthcare service should continue to grow from the person-centred model but with a shift towards greater collaboration with individuals, using technology and debate between clinicians and individuals to address the unique challenges that arise from unique lives.
Finally, I think it was agreed that policy should acknowledge, “A healthy nation is a wealthy nation,” as Dr. Mary Baker MBE, Past President of the European Brain Council, noted. Wellness should be taught and promoted and if health starts to veer from the ‘straight-forward’, those complexities should be addressed and most importantly be viewed as an investment in society and not be viewed as cost. “After all,” she went on to say, “good health is just an incomplete diagnosis” and in that, I think, we all have a duty to enable sustainable healthcare that is fit for purpose.
Tim Owen Jones, College of Medicine Student Lead & 3rd yr. Adult Nursing Student