Health Creation Alliance hosted a special Summer Event on Wednesday 5th July, to share the thoughts and experiences coming out of our new groundbreaking ‘A Manifesto for Health Creation’. Throughout the day delegates shared their knowledge around bringing health creation to people wherever they may be – through outreach work and collaboration, reflected on the Manifesto’s key recommendations and discussed on how best to drive them forward from a ‘think’ focus to a ‘do’ focus, so that health creation becomes a core part of the UK healthcare system.
The event in London was attended by healthcare professionals and resident/expert witnesses, with a dynamic and interactive programme of thought provoking presentations, workshops and panel discussions, chaired by Prof Paul Burstow, Birmingham Mental Health Commission. The day was defined by the moving stories of motivational empowerment in action and how good being connected and in control made people feel; and the positive and enthusiastic sharing of ideas and innovations in health creation practice. We were encouraged by our delegate’s discussions, information sharing and energy for change, despite often citing how hard it is to change our mindset and to progress the journey of health creation in a reluctant system.
The consensus view was that we all need to build on the successes achieved to date to keep the momentum and public narrative going. It was agreed that the core challenge ahead was to convert the unconvinced and to encourage sceptics that courageous new thinking is required to ensure that Health Creation and health creating practices become ‘business as usual!’
We believe this challenge is even more pressing, given the increasingly polarised society in the UK exposed by recent events and with projections suggesting that social inequality is likely to increase over the next few years. The economic effect of Brexit is already starting to kick in and rising inflation – increasing prices in food and so on – always hits the poorest most. That affects inequality and in turn has a knock on negative impact on people’s health and quality of life.
Merron Simpson, Health Creation Alliance Chief Executive, commented:
“There is a growing urgency for the NHS and other sectors to move quickly to adopt Health Creation as a routine part of what it does. That’s why we have identified the 5 features of health creating practices in our manifesto – because it offers those working at any level within any organisation a starting point for creating conditions for people to increase their levels of the 3Cs (Health Creation). We urge everyone across the health system to start innovating with the 5 features all of the time and start to see the difference for themselves. Health Creation Alliance is also working with partners to bring about the systems-changes required.”
Speakers, presentations and quotes:
NNHSA Chair, Heather Henry, speaking on the aims of the Manifesto’s 10 top line recommendations as a way of creating health that decreases dependency, increases resilience and reduces their demands on traditional health and care services, said: “We need to shift from a pathogenic mindset to thinking about the causes of health – and we need to go to communities with humility respect and listen – not power & control.”
Professor Paul Burstow, Birmingham Mental Health Commission, speaking on why we need a paradigm shift for mental health and how health Creation may help, highlighted the importance of reducing mental illness in young people. He commented: “People don’t want a mental health service, they want a life. Often we are giving them neither.”
Sir John Eldridge, Carnegie Trust, speaking on the Manifesto, described the ‘enabling state’ – and commented that the Manifesto was a clear statement of the challenges.
Noel Mathis WEvolutionUK, speaking on Self-Reliant Groups, said: “SRGs are disruptive, they disrupt the culture of dependency.”
Catherine Wilton, NHS England, talking about the need for health creation, said: “We are within a paradigm where we are doing what we know doesn’t work.”
Peter Hay, Birmingham Director of Social Services, speaking about the health Creation practices in Birmingham, said: “Health professionals need to find ways to include the – 5 features of health creating practice – Listening and responding, Truth-telling, Strengths-focus, Self-organising, Power-shifting – in every interaction!”
Robert Punton expert witness, speaking about the health Creation practices in Birmingham, said: “People need to build their own support not have it thrust upon them!”
Juliann Hall, South Yorkshire Housing Association, talked about the strength in interdependency not independence, as described in the Manifesto – (‘connection’ is one of the 3Cs).
Dr Amanda Skeate, St Basils, challenged general practitioners to adopt a learning approach called Psychologically Informed Environments by training their receptionists in the model.
Brian Fisher, NNHSA Vice Chair, said:
“Health Creation is urgent – and it saves lives. One of the 5 features of health creating practice is listening – and responding. We can see the extreme consequences of not listening, not respecting, not responding to the voices of the populations we serve: Grenfell and Mid-Staffs, for instance. These also show that we need a power shift, another of the 5 features of Health Creation. One of the reasons people are not listened to is because they are seen as powerless and of little consequence. We need the system to change.”
NB: ITN Productions filmed throughout the day and the event highlights in this inspiring video perfectly captures the energy for change and for taking purposeful action to apply, adopt and embed health creation within daily practice.
Please click on the link below to view the video: