The incidence of chronic disease is rising rapidly. Simultaneously, the costs of healthcare are also rising and are not sustainable. In addition, the medical outcomes for many conditions are less than satisfactory. Something is clearly not working. Fortunately, a paradigm shift in the approach to healthcare is taking place in the UK as the government has announced a program of universal social prescribing within the National Health Service. Instrumental in this program is my guest, Dr Michael Dixon, the National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription (NHS England). In this episode he describes the need for a medicine that is more than pills and procedures. He describes how social prescription takes a holistic view of patients and supports them in making lifestyle changes, solving life challenges and integration into social networks. Initial results have shown great promise in improving the physical, emotional and mental health of patients while saving costs. Michael strongly believes that social prescribing is the way forward for medicine that not only takes care of the patient, but may help build better and stronger communities. It is a huge step in changing a disease care system into a healthcare system.
*We experienced a few technical difficulties during this episode which affect sound quality in places. We apologise and hope that it doesn’t detract too much from your listening pleasure!