A little about me
I want to see nutrition, fasting, lifestyle changes and education on the front-line of medicine in the UK. I believe the NHS is uniquely positioned to lead the world in this as there is a financial and humanitarian incentive to reduce demand on the healthcare system, by involving patients in their own recovery, with diet and lifestyle changes. Without this reduction in demand, we risk losing the NHS as we know it today. In other countries, where private healthcare is the norm, there is a financial incentive to keep patients dependent on medication, so I don’t believe reform will ever be led by those countries. If we can make the changes necessary in the UK and prove it works, cutting costs while improving patient health and quality of life, then I think there will be so much public demand for change in other countries, that they will have to follow suit.
Most of the infrastructure for including education of patients in treatment protocols is already in place. The NHS has a National Learning Management System which handles e-learning for medical staff in the UK. I know this because my company has been involved in the project management of its implementation and the production of some of the e-learning hosted on it. It would be easy enough to add additional courses for patients, which could then be delivered to relevant patients through their dashboard in the patient access portal, which patients already use to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions online. If adding patient education and access to the existing NLMS is considered too costly an option, then open source solutions, such as Moodle are a cheaper alternative for achieving the same end.
When you get diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, you suddenly get a flurry of regular appointments; eye checks, foot checks, blood tests, visits to the diabetes nurse, visits to a dietitian, and sometimes appointments with an endocrinologist. How hard would it be to add an e-learning course into the mix, for the patient to learn how to handle their diabetes and recover their health? The same goes for other chronic illnesses.
Of course, if patients are going to be educated about diet and lifestyle changes, then doctors and other relevant medical staff should be too. Medical schools do not teach future doctors about nutrition and fasting, and what is promoted as good nutrition generally within the NHS, is years out of date and not in line with what we now know to be true from more recent research. This needs addressing urgently.