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A major report published yesterday (13/12/18), 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 yesterday 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.

 

ENDS.

 

CONTACT

For more information, please telephone +44 (0)1306 646 600 or email [email protected]onal.org.

Address: The Alliance for Natural Health International, The Atrium, Curtis Road, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1XA, UK.

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

Download full report at:

Blueprint for health system sustainability

What thought leaders say about the ANH ‘blueprint for health system sustainability’:

Giles Hutchins, Regenerative Leadership specialist, Chair of The Future Fit Leadership Academy, cofounder of Regenerators, and author of The Nature of Business (2012), The Illusion of Separation (2014) and Future Fit (2016):

"This is a time of great transformation – of simultaneous breakdown/breakthrough - affecting all aspects of our human endeavour, not least our approach to human health and wellbeing.  Our present responsibility is not simply for our own health, but for future generations, and the wider fabric of life on which we all depend. 

This timely, far-reaching and well-researched report lays critical foundations for future pathways towards a necessary regenerative health system that does nothing more, nor nothing less, than embody the logic of life.  We humans are very much part of life, and would do well to adhere to the wisdom life bestows us.

 It’s time to move beyond overly-reductive lenses that may well have served us in the Industrial era, to now see with new eyes, and recognise the holistic nature of life.  Force-fitting mechanistic and reductive methods creates ever widening and deepening systemic consequences for ourselves, our future, and the rich diversity of life on Earth.  We know this. The time has come to embrace the ecological principles of life, and this comprehensive report goes right to the heart of the matter. It forms a key part of the backbone of this necessary {r}evolution towards ecological consciousness."

Cheryl Thallon, Founder & Managing Director, Viridian Nutrition:

“The UK healthcare system is broken and our families are the casualties. Only a radical rethink will create a healthier future. This document assembles a truly holistic perspective, calling on historic traditions and established modern research to create a human-centred model that I believe our children and grandchildren deserve.”

Michael Ash DO, ND, BSc, RNT, Managing Director, Clinical Education:

“As a clinician, researcher and educator on functional and lifestyle medicine for over 35 years I have reviewed many proposals for inducing cultural change in behaviour to facilitate improvements in health. This document will set a new benchmark in its progressive and actionable steps for implementation and oversight.

Functional Medicine provides a comprehensive framework for one to one care, but its foundations also translate into community and national health promotion and sustainability – as the leading UK education Organisation for Functional and Lifestyle medicine, we are pleased to endorse this paper as a creative and structural blueprint for expanding personal control over health generation.”

Sebastian Pole, Master Herbsmith and co-founder Pukka Herbs, MAPA, MRCHM, MURHP:

“I salute this Blueprint for Sustainable Healthcare. We urgently need a radical change in our approach to healthcare to ensure the future health of our society. A system of healthcare that is safe, effective and affordable must include of a wide range of integrated health practices, including traditional and scientific herbalism, to serve our citizens with care, compassion and value.” 

Chris Moore, Managing Director, Nordic Group:

“We have entered the epoch of personalised health. With it comes the opportunity to reassert health ownership. Who owns your health? Gone is the time when protocol management, coupled with pharmaceutical medication was going to save humanity from the vagaries of disease. There is no one size fits all in health. If there was, there would be no disease. Instead each of us is unique, if we can understand better our biochemistry along with the interactions between our genes and our environments, then we will be able to assess better what our bodies require to function optimally. With that will be a shift from disease management, to disease prevention and, most importantly, to the attainment of optimal health.

This ground-breaking document details the essence of what so many of us have spent our careers working towards - a commitment to changing healthcare. It offers, in an easily accessible language, a change to the current dogma of healthcare. Supported by compelling science, the multi-faceted approach presented in this blueprint shows how individuals can be empowered to reclaim their health. In doing so, they will relieve health care systems of the near impossible pressures on resources that threaten to make them no longer viable.

To the reader: I urge you to not read this document passively. Instead, utilise the knowledge contained within these pages to galvanise your health, and that of your families and friends. In doing so, you will be part of the much-needed revolution in how we as humans manage our health.

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR NATURAL HEALTH INTERNATIONAL

www.anhinternational.org

The Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) International is an independent, non-governmental organisation established in 2002 that promotes and protects natural, sustainable and bio-compatible approaches to health optimisation. Our approach is based on ‘good science’ and ‘good law’ and our core activities cover campaigns, activism, research and education.

ANH-Intl’s quest to help more people optimise health by working with, rather than against nature, means we engage with a broad range of issues relating to health and disease prevention, especially those involving dietary and lifestyle modification. We support the increased adoption of scientifically validated, natural and sustainable approaches to healthcare and disease prevention, taking into account cultural needs and individual requirements. The threat of uncertainty, as well as regulatory and other pressures, including from large food and pharmaceutical lobbies, continues to limit freedom of choice in the field of natural health. At ANH, we strive to protect these freedoms along with individual empowerment and engagement.

ANH-Intl was founded by Robert Verkerk PhD, an internationally acclaimed expert in agricultural and health sustainability. Our international office is based in Dorking, UK, while our US base (www.anh-usa.org) operates out of Atlanta, GA. We collaborate with a diverse cross-section of interests, including scientists, lawyers, medical doctors, other health professionals, politicians, companies and, above all, citizens.