Don’t leave it to the medical profession to keep you healthy
LAST THURSDAY’S Health Insight event marked the end of the second series of these events, events that have left a mark on me personally.
I have heard leaders in their field explain the causes, effects and prevention of conditions ranging from dementia and Parkinson’s to strokes and cancer.
I have been consumed by some frightening statistics and seen some images that maybe I would rather not have seen, but I recognise this is all part of this important health education journey I have been on.
I have noticed two common threads running through each event. Firstly, the need for effective prevention. This won’t just happen. It comes through informing and educating people so they can take control, be it through weight loss, exercise or quitting smoking.
In some instances, there are increased hereditary risks, ones if we know about we can monitor carefully.
The second theme every speaker mentioned is the immense pressure the NHS is under and the impact it had on their own departmental resources.
This winter has been like no other for the NHS. The cracks in the service have grown significantly with the under-investment in social care. Last week’s budget promised a £2 billion extra spending on social care over the next three years — a welcome recognition of the desperate need for additional funding. It won’t fix the cracks but could stop them crumbling more.
When it comes to funding of health and social care there is no magic fix. While the funding of health and social care works in silos, the health and social care needs of individuals are intrinsically intertwined.
As social care providers we know this and are working hard to ensure we develop relationships with local health professionals. It isn’t always easy but when it works, the benefits to the individual are obvious. This is an area we hope the forthcoming government Green Paper on social care will address.
While there may be some fixes on their way the reality is we all need take responsibility for our own health education. As the community’s largest provider of social care services we recognise they we can play a role in informing and educating you about health and social care issues. That’s why we were so delighted when Professor Victor Hoffbrand, of University College London, came to us with the idea of this series of events.
He has helped us secure leaders in their field and this along with sponsorship from the Rostree’s Trust and a partnership with the JC has helped hundreds of members of the community through the daunting minefield of health and social care.
We are committed to developing further information evenings on a range of health and social care related issues and hope to bring news of these to you in future issues of the JC
Simon Morris is chief executive of Jewish Care