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Transformative Innovations for Health Conference

The neatness of medical science is unravelling. 20th century medicine focused on smaller and smaller parts with astonishing success: triumphant in infections, deficiency diseases, with surgery and transplants, intensive care and anaesthetics. But 21st century medicine must confront whole person (indeed whole society) problems: chronic degenerative and inflammatory diseases, stress-, environment- and lifestyle-mediated diseases, addictions and psychological disorders. Bio-technical single-solution approaches won’t cure them.

By Prof. David Peters 6 December 2017

If, as has been said, the future is already with us but unevenly distributed, where might we find seeds of the new paradigm? Our working conference, jointly hosted by Westminster Centre for Resilience, the Scientific and Medical Network and the British Holistic Medical Association brought together some of healthcare’s most  active  change-makers in a celebration of the future. Bill Sharpe author of Economies of Life: patterns of health and wealth and Three Horizons: the patterning of hope set the scene with his Three Horizons Model.

In the day’s first panel William House, Dan Hopewell and Ed Rosen told how their projects were transforming community health.  Rev Prof Stephen Wright from Cumbria’s Sacred Space Foundation spoke about the urgent need, in an industrialised high demand NHS, to make time for staff renewal.  Prof Paul Dieppe outlined his research into healing and therapeutic transformation. To end the morning all presenters led an energetic World Café of round table reflections.

In the afternoon David Reilly founder of Scotland’s radical WEL project mapped the human healing response as a future foundation for a fifth wave of public health. Pat Fleming in her session on ecotherapy reminded us of our deep need for reconnecting with the wild.  A panel on transforming attitudes to birth and death and dying assembled birth doula advocate Sophie Brigstocke, Peter Fenwick internationally know expert on near death experiences and Hermione Elliott whose Living Well Dying Well Foundation is creating community resources for people who want to die at home.

After a plenary that ended the day William House awarding the BHMA’s student essay prize to……. and lifetime fellowships to Dr Craig Browwn, former BHMA Chair, and Dr David Zigmond GP, critic and prolific commentator on the changing face of the NHS.