Changing the conversation about health

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BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: How the South West’s pain cafes are helping chronic pain sufferers – without drugs
BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: How the South West’s pain cafes are helping chronic pain sufferers – without drugs

BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: How the South West’s pain cafes are helping chronic pain sufferers – without drugs

Our latest Beyond Pills Campaign article looks at how an initiative in the South West is helping chronic pain sufferers find respite using a range of different strategies… Instead of reaching for a bottle of painkillers, chronic pain sufferers in…

BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: Exercise should be a core treatment for depression, research suggests
BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: Exercise should be a core treatment for depression, research suggests

BEYOND PILLS CAMPAIGN: Exercise should be a core treatment for depression, research suggests

An evidence review of the benefits of exercise for depression, published in the BMJ, found that some types of exercise proved more effective than psychotherapy and antidepressants, writes Sarah Stacey. Latest NHS figures show that 8.6 million people in England…

West London GP on New Year Honours List says: ‘We need to address the wider determinants on health’
West London GP on New Year Honours List says: ‘We need to address the wider determinants on health’

West London GP on New Year Honours List says: ‘We need to address the wider determinants on health’

An influential West London GP who made the New Year Honours List for her work on social inclusion, mental health and homeless health has told The College of Medicine that ‘health is much more than the absence of illness’. Dr…

Beyond Pills All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) launches to stop over-prescribing
Beyond Pills All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) launches to stop over-prescribing

Beyond Pills All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) launches to stop over-prescribing

In June 2022, the College of Medicine launched the Beyond Pills Campaign – calling for urgent Government intervention on over- prescribing in the NHS. The Campaign was established in the wake of the Government’s National Overprescribing Review, published in September…

World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week: Access the TARGET toolkit
World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week: Access the TARGET toolkit

World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week: Access the TARGET toolkit

The third week in November marks World Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Week, a global annual campaign to improve awareness and understanding of Antimicrobial Resistance amongst patients and healthcare professionals. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared AMR one of the…

Barnardo’s urges government to invest in social prescribing to help mental health of young people
Barnardo’s urges government to invest in social prescribing to help mental health of young people

Barnardo’s urges government to invest in social prescribing to help mental health of young people

Social prescribing could help young people suffering with mental health problems, new research says. Children’s charity Barnardo’s says referrals for non-clinical treatments could help to ease current pressure on child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) and help young patients…

‘Getting research money for plant medicine is extremely difficult’: Simon Mills in conversation with herbalist Michael McIntyre
‘Getting research money for plant medicine is extremely difficult’: Simon Mills in conversation with herbalist Michael McIntyre

‘Getting research money for plant medicine is extremely difficult’: Simon Mills in conversation with herbalist Michael McIntyre

The College of Medicine’s Self Care Lead, Simon Mills, first encountered herbalist and acupuncturist Michael McIntyre around 45 years ago as the pair met as practitioners trying to drive forward plant medicine in the UK. In 2022, the College of…

‘Dismissive attitudes’ towards ME must improve, say DofH, as it launches new plan to overhaul care
‘Dismissive attitudes’ towards ME must improve, say DofH, as it launches new plan to overhaul care

‘Dismissive attitudes’ towards ME must improve, say DofH, as it launches new plan to overhaul care

NHS healthcare professionals are to get more training to improve the treatment of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), as part of a new government strategy. The Department of Health’s interim plan, writes The Times, will see medical students, nurses and…

The six questions you should ask your GP: Read Professor Sir Muir Gray’s advice
The six questions you should ask your GP: Read Professor Sir Muir Gray’s advice

The six questions you should ask your GP: Read Professor Sir Muir Gray’s advice

Professor Sir Muir Gray, who’s on The College of Medicine’s Scientific Advisory Council, has revealed his advice on what patients should be asking their doctors to make the most of a short appointment time.   Sir Muir, who is a…

Beyond Pills Campaign: Actress Jenny Seagrove tells IPM Congress 2023 how ‘polypharmacy’ negatively impacted her mother’s health
Beyond Pills Campaign: Actress Jenny Seagrove tells IPM Congress 2023 how ‘polypharmacy’ negatively impacted her mother’s health

Beyond Pills Campaign: Actress Jenny Seagrove tells IPM Congress 2023 how ‘polypharmacy’ negatively impacted her mother’s health

Actress Jenny Seagrove told audience members at the Integrative & Personalised Medicine conference 2023 in London last week that her own approach to health was radically impacted by watching her mother being prescribed ‘pills, pills and more pills’ when she…

Announcement: Dr Michael Dixon announces retirement as Co-Chair of the Social Prescribing Network
Announcement: Dr Michael Dixon announces retirement as Co-Chair of the Social Prescribing Network

Announcement: Dr Michael Dixon announces retirement as Co-Chair of the Social Prescribing Network

The College of Medicine’s Chair, Dr Michael Dixon, has announced he is leaving the Social Prescribing Network, after co-founding the organisation in 2015. Current Co-Chair Sian Brand announced the news, saying Dr Dixon had been the SPN’s ‘constant’ over the…

‘Loneliness is as bad for our health as 15 cigarettes a day’, says US Surgeon General
‘Loneliness is as bad for our health as 15 cigarettes a day’, says US Surgeon General

‘Loneliness is as bad for our health as 15 cigarettes a day’, says US Surgeon General

Social isolation can be as damaging for health as a smoking habit, a top US health official has warned, saying loneliness can potentially hasten death by nearly 30 per cent. Speaking to BBC News, Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General, said that…

Blog: How arts and creativity can help young people deal with difficult transitions
Blog: How arts and creativity can help young people deal with difficult transitions

Blog: How arts and creativity can help young people deal with difficult transitions

This week, Professor Chris Drinkwater, Executive Lead for Arts and Creativity at the North East & North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network, wrote a blog for theatre company Damn Cheek on the benefits of drama for helping children to cope…

WATCH: A College of Medicine Young Fellow, Hamaad Khan, addresses students on Social Prescribing for the future
WATCH: A College of Medicine Young Fellow, Hamaad Khan, addresses students on Social Prescribing for the future

WATCH: A College of Medicine Young Fellow, Hamaad Khan, addresses students on Social Prescribing for the future

One of The College of Medicine’s Young Fellows, Hamaad Khan, delivered a powerful speech to students on Social Prescribing Day 2023, which took place on March 9th, about how Social Prescribing is vital to the future success of the NHS.…

‘Social Prescribing can change lives – and the Government is backing it with money’, says Health Secretary
‘Social Prescribing can change lives – and the Government is backing it with money’, says Health Secretary

‘Social Prescribing can change lives – and the Government is backing it with money’, says Health Secretary

The UK minister for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, has said the Government is committed to Social Prescribing, following last week’s Social Prescribing Day, saying funding of £3.6million will be poured into it over the next two years. Writing…

‘NHS launches healthcare revolution to ditch drugs’: Beyond Pills Campaign features in The Sunday Express
‘NHS launches healthcare revolution to ditch drugs’: Beyond Pills Campaign features in The Sunday Express

‘NHS launches healthcare revolution to ditch drugs’: Beyond Pills Campaign features in The Sunday Express

Social prescribing and The College of Medicine’s Beyond Pills Campaign made the headlines this weekend, with a detailed article in The Sunday Express highlighting our call for urgent reform on unnecessary prescribing within the current healthcare system. The article, written…

Beyond Pills Campaign: BMJ article examines how use of medicine for treating chronic pain is changing
Beyond Pills Campaign: BMJ article examines how use of medicine for treating chronic pain is changing

Beyond Pills Campaign: BMJ article examines how use of medicine for treating chronic pain is changing

An article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) this month debates how recent research on the treatment of chronic pain suggests social prescribing – including exercise and psychological and social support – could have a positive impact for patients living…

Beyond Pills Campaign: ‘Pain Cafes’ launch at 15 locations across Cornwall
Beyond Pills Campaign: ‘Pain Cafes’ launch at 15 locations across Cornwall

Beyond Pills Campaign: ‘Pain Cafes’ launch at 15 locations across Cornwall

Support groups for people suffering from chronic pain, dubbed ‘Pain Cafes‘, have opened across Cornwall in a bid to help people manage their pain without relying solely on prescription painkillers. The Pain Cafes, led by Chronic Pain in Cornwall (CPIC),…

Beyond Pills Campaign: “GP surgeries should operate like ‘mini hospitals’ to save money and time”, says Professor Sir Sam Everington
Beyond Pills Campaign: “GP surgeries should operate like ‘mini hospitals’ to save money and time”, says Professor Sir Sam Everington

Beyond Pills Campaign: “GP surgeries should operate like ‘mini hospitals’ to save money and time”, says Professor Sir Sam Everington

GP surgeries in the UK should evolve to be more like ‘mini hospitals’ to help the whole NHS system run more effectively, The College of Medicine’s Vice President, Professor Sir Sam Everington, has said. Speaking to the Sunday Express, Sir…

‘Complementary medicine radically altered my views on how to heal’: Dr Michael Dixon’s blog for the British Association for Holistic Medicine
‘Complementary medicine radically altered my views on how to heal’: Dr Michael Dixon’s blog for the British Association for Holistic Medicine

‘Complementary medicine radically altered my views on how to heal’: Dr Michael Dixon’s blog for the British Association for Holistic Medicine

In a 2018 article for the Journal of Holistic Healthcare – republished last month by the British Association for Holistic Medicine and Health Care (BHMA), our Chair, Dr Michael Dixon (pictured below), recounts how, in his own career as a…

Beyond Pills Campaign: From helping with finances to finding local activities, a former nurse turned link worker reveals how her role is making a difference to one London community
Beyond Pills Campaign: From helping with finances to finding local activities, a former nurse turned link worker reveals how her role is making a difference to one London community

Beyond Pills Campaign: From helping with finances to finding local activities, a former nurse turned link worker reveals how her role is making a difference to one London community

Sarah Stacey meets Gay Palmer, a Social Prescriber Link Worker Team Lead in South Southwark, who explains how her work successfully went online during the pandemic – and how the power of community can help transform individual lives… Until autumn…

Plant-based diet could lessen impact of Covid, says new study
Plant-based diet could lessen impact of Covid, says new study

Plant-based diet could lessen impact of Covid, says new study

Those following a plant-based diet could be better placed to fight off the symptoms of Covid, a new study has found. The major research, published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health journal, found that following a non-meat diet reduced the…

A lockdown success! How a team of healthcare professionals is transforming mental health support in their region
A lockdown success! How a team of healthcare professionals is transforming mental health support in their region

A lockdown success! How a team of healthcare professionals is transforming mental health support in their region

Two GPs who helped to create a mental health referral team during the height of the first lock-down have shared with the College of Medicine the challenges and successes of its first year in operation. The Andover Primary Care Mental…