A major report published today, the result of over 2 years of research and consultation with health professionals, researchers and citizens, argues that many of the NHS’ woes could be remedied by changing the way the UK population manages its health.
The report, A blueprint for health system sustainability in the UK, was delivered today to the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
“The Government’s planned £20 billion funding increase over the next 5 years will inevitably plug some of the shortfalls in healthcare delivery,” says lead author of the report, Robert Verkerk PhD, founder and executive director of the non-profit, Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) International.
Dr Verkerk continued, “But the greatest challenge facing the NHS is not just about money - it’s the sheer burden caused by preventable, chronic diseases. The solution is less about finding new ways of treating these complex diseases, and more about finding better ways of allowing us to stay healthy for longer. We need a unified language so that the public can communicate effectively and meaningfully with health and fitness professionals and be empowered in the process.”
To this end, the project team responsible for developing the ‘blueprint’ has used both the principles of sustainability and the science of ecology as key lenses through which to look at how individuals can participate more fully in optimising their health within their unique, varied and dynamic ecosystems. Focusing the greater part of healthcare inputs on complex chronic disease states is both expensive and rarely effective. Instead, a bottom-up approach is needed with much more effort expended in the community, before irreversible diseases have manifested. At the same time, health and fitness professionals need to be able to collaborate more effectively to guide individuals.
The ‘blueprint’, a 130-page, heavily referenced consensus paper endorsed by a diverse range of organisations, individuals and companies, sets out new ways in which individuals can manage multiple domains of their health. This can be done with varying levels of support or guidance from health professionals, depending on need or capacity to pay. The report also identifies 10 hallmarks of health system sustainability, including reduced reliance on pharmaceuticals and a greater focus on parameters that optimise health rather than those that simply aim to prevent disease.
In early 2019, the ANH, along with the specialist sustainability non-profit, Forum for the Future, aims to begin deliberations with the Department of Health and other parties to investigate the feasibility of evaluating the proposed approach in different community settings.
The ANH is already working alongside clinics and governments in other parts of the world to evaluate its new model of health system sustainability.
For more information about the Alliance for Natural Health International see: https://www.anhinternational.org/