Monday 21 August 2017

Overview of the 1st SWHertsPHS 'Open Evening'

The 1st of 3 open evenings took place at +The Kitchen Croxley on Wednesday 16th August 2017. Around 15 people were there to learn more about the People's Health Service. I had prepared a series of flipchart pages to provide a little structure to the evening. The agenda is to the right (or above).

The whole ethos behind the People's Health Service is that even though we have low fat food, we have sugar free products, we have supplements and allegedly people looking after our health we are a more sick society than ever before.

With levels of obesity, diabetes, chronic degenerative diseases, digestive disorders, breathing and respiratory issues at an all time high along with increasing occurrences of cancers and cardio vascular diseases we must surely begin to ask the question... what on earth is going on?

It doesn't matter what publications or messages the Government puts out there (5 a day / 10 a day) or what initiatives are in place to attempt to coerce people into living healthier lives the problem persists and continues to grow unabated. So what is the problem?

If we make information about how to take care of ourselves more accessible, through discussion and osmosis, health education will reach out to a wider audience by word of mouth. There is no shortage of people who are interested in finding out how they can keep themselves healthier and the benefit is we feel better and can do more with our lives... all good.

The health service is creaking at the seams. The reasons for this is not the purpose of this post, however, two things are true.

  1. We are an ageing population so more people will be making demands on the health service as the baby boomer generation gets older. 
  2. If we don't take time to take more responsibility for our own health now, we will be spending more of our time being unwell in the hands of a struggling Health service later... and contributing further to the demands being placed upon it.

It makes sense to look after our own health... why?

  • If this vehicle (our body) becomes seriously incapacitated life goes downhill very quickly
  • If you don't care about your health, then no one cares. People spend more time looking after their cars than themselves
  • It's more fun doing things being healthy and happy than being sick and static
  • It's no more difficult to take the path of eating healthily, exercising and looking after yourself than it is to take the path to an unhealthy lifestyle
  • You look and feel better and more opportunities and doors open

Why is it then, if it is so good that more people don't do it?

  • Looking after your health covers so many things, to many it's like a rabbit in the headlights, where on earth do you start... and it's so vast a subject that people keep putting off getting started
  • We want results instantly ... and if we don't get them, we give up
  • Many would rather not know about their own health
  • There's more to it that eating a few more veggies and fruits and doing a bit of running
  • The existing Health Services do not have the resources to sit and talk with people who aren't ill... but who want to stay that way
  • Limited access to people who know about all the different elements of 'staying healthy' as opposed to 'fixing things when you are already sick'
  • There isn't an identifiable, known, local service, that exists to help those that want to stay fit and healthy

Welcome to the SWHertsPHS - People's Health Service

The intent of our SWHertsPHS is :-

  1. To enable anyone in the community to be able to access information on any aspect of health and wellness. Both physically in their community 'Health Sessions' and online via a health support forum
  2. To be able to find, connect and talk to people who are offering preventative health services and alternative strategies for remaining healthy
  3. To get people talking about Health & Wellness and through Osmosis begin the trend to better health
  4. Build an exciting movement of people championing taking responsibility for our own health
  5. Take at least 10% load off the NHS
  6. Collectively reverse the downward trend of the nation's health
  7. Bring community together through Health & Wellness, we all talk about it and it effects us all.

Who is running this service and how is it to operate?

The SWHertsPHS is not a business, nor is it an entity in its own right. It is an idea to bring together all those with knowledge and expertise on the subject of Health & Wellness, to collaborate and co-create a 'staying healthy' ... health service. SWHertsPHS is just a label that applies to the idea and joins us all together with an INTENT.

Each person that wishes to contribute and participate on what happens next can do so. Each person will be afforded the opportunity to actively engage using their knowledge, experience, expertise and creativity, to co-create and collaborate on how best the PHS can achieve on its agreed objectives (first task).

Are there any rules? Who is in charge?

The whole idea of the SWHertsPHS like all the new initiatives that we will be helping to get started is that there is no one person in charge. The idea that a small 'think tank' of people is better equipped than a much larger group with more minds on the case is now a bit outdated. This can be replaced with the much more collaborative 21st century thinking. Life Skills 21 is underpinning this initiative... if you follow the link here you can download the handbook - How to Socialise in the 21st Century. This provides much greater detail on the subject.

But in order to introduce much greater levels of collaboration in a sustainable way, there has to be some principles and habits which govern the behaviour of those participating. Not onerous but... what they do is ensure that everyone who wants to be involved gets a fair crack of the whip, is heard, and is part of agreeing the way forward.

SWHertsPHS - Principles

Over on the right hand side (or above) you can see some of the principles that we discussed during the initial meeting. There are some really important messages here.
  • Everyone is free from the pressure to meet the needs or expectations of others. In other words. You can decide to follow, lead or find your own way. No judgement.
  • We are all progressing with this initiative without some master plan. There is vision, and there are ideas but... we are collaboratively journeying into the unknown with the spirit of adventurers... knowing that we are resourceful enough to find solutions to anything that comes our way... and that we are resilient to keep going collectively to achieve what we set out to do.
  • The only right way is that there is no right way... this ensures that we do not get wrapped up into the thinking that 'we alone are right, and that our way is the right way' ... the right way is whatever we co-create and agree on.
The SWHertsPHS will be facilitated by an approved LifeSkills21 practitioner. This is your guarantee that the above will be adhered to. You can read the 6 habits of a LifeSkills21 practitioner here (Community coach). If you would like to find out above acquiring the status of a LifeSkills21 practitioner please enquire here.

So where do we go from here...

There will be 2 more 'open sessions' similar to the one on the 16th August, later in August and in September too. Then we commence with the inaugural event to kick the whole SWHertsPHS off and to start putting things in place.

On the right (or above) some of the ideas that we will need to discuss. With such a collaborative initiative we will need to implement an online platform that enables us to store documents, minutes... ideas... reports... presentations... spreadsheets et al.

We will also need to easily add new people, provide access to edit / collaborate... and share information easily to the public.

We will need collaborative calendars that can be contributed too by many people... calendars that can be inserted easily on web pages and easily shared with those wishing to join in with the PHS and / or get along to health events to pick up information and connections.

A mini website will be put together for the SWHertsPHS which will make sharing the details included in this post simple so we can get the word out there and start to grow what we have begun.

How will the SWHertsPHS actually be delivered?

Some of the questions that came up during the session included

  • What will the SWHertsPHS look like? 
  • How will people engage with it? 
  • How can we actually begin to make things happen?
There has been a lot of preparation work that has gone before in pulling flexible collaborative co-creation projects together. It might seem as was mentioned on the 16th August that there is a huge amount of colateral, systems and infrastructure that needs to be put into place to support such a huge undertaking.

The good news is that we have been building a community support platform for the past 3-5 years and much of the backbone to get the project off the ground is already in place. The community hub which is where this blog has been posted brings together all elements of community... charities, local business, community groups, all into one place. Along with local events (calendars) and Video (SWHerts CommunityTV).

A key elements will be to host 'Health days' perhaps in local independent coffee shops where service providers can register to be present, and local people can come in to get information, advice, guidance and signposting.

One of the suggestions that came up at the meeting was that each person becoming involved do a short 3 minute video about yourself, this would help those that have not met yet to get to know others in the SWHertsPHS. This could be a FB live or... if you get in touch I will be happy to interview you. This video could then be posted into the FB Group and... if recorded separately it could also go on the local business channel on the SWHerts CommunityTV. Email me on if you would like to pursue that option.

What are the benefits to creating this SWHertsPHS?

For those offering Health Services?
  • Local Health & Wellness Service directory
  • Keep people informed with local updates and news
  • Participate in the SWHerts Health & Wellness TV Show
  • Video in the local Business / Health & Wellness TV Channel
  • Be a part of a new Health & Wellness phenomena working alongside other health professionals
  • Be part of the health evolution

For those in the community?
  • Become part of an exciting movement to 'take our life in our own hands' and consciously take responsibility for our own health 
  • A simple and easy way to begin to learn about Health & Wellness
  • Meet, talk, listen, learn, and connect with those who are specialists in a wide range of Health, Wellness and preventative techniques
  • Get answers to questions in a local dedicated health & wellness community
  • Discover and connect to people providing Health & Wellness services through a dedicated local Health directory

Final words...

There is no down side to co-creating the SWHertsPHS. We are tackling a major challenge of our time; the steady decline of our health. This isn't something that the Government can fix, it's too big a challenge... the Pharma companies can't participate because they are looking for solutions that can be proven to work according to strict laboratory conditions... the Health service is set up to deal with problems which require intervention... 

What the People's Health Service is about is keeping us healthy so our trips to the doctors or hospital become fewer and farther between. If we becoming more conscious and aware when things change we can perhaps seek out minor adjustments that enable us to restore the balance, whether this be in our mind or physically.

We, the people win with improved health... those providing Health & Wellness services get to help larger numbers of people... the NHS has fewer visits and can provide a better service to those in need... We the people operate the service free from the shackles of feast and famine funding, and the control of government or big business.

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