If you’re not sure you have heard of Sam, or cant quite place him – click here and here (first is Kings Fund, second Wikipedia). Those who attended, in person or via Periscope will have learnt more at last weeks Health chat with Roy Lilley.
Less like a Sir, less like a doc, more like a visionary? Roy Lilley certainly does get some crackers to his health chats. Read on to find out more of what I think I found on that evening. (Available to watch again on You Tube link in case you didn’t catch it on Periscope).
I thought I might get the feel for a person who had moved from law to GP and find him a little highfalutin’ and pompous. Not likely for someone half Norwegian (and brought up by his madly hospitable, open house mum). He does wear that sort of jumper, normally only seen in Scandi Noir cop shows.. For work too…no ties on him! Trainee woodcarver to ships welder, through Called to the Bar, to GP. All before 23 or 4… Saw a fellow student killed by a crane when a welder. Formative moment. Resolved to become a GP.
Why general practitioner, asked Roy?. He knew that’s what he wanted in Medicine. it’s a people need. “You need emotional Intelligence, not straight A* s to be a good GP.”.
The Practice he still works at 2 days a week (you got the feeling he needed it as a bed rock of his existence) is well visited by the great and the good. Heavens, Roy has been there! Bromley by Bow, in Tower Hamlets. Deprived area. Hugely varied communities. And a beacon of excellent care. The practice sounds as central to community life as a holistic social, health and cohesive service should be. Taking the place of pub, church football and maybe even family? Or just making that mix work better? Is Sam’s thrust just that? Maybe his powerfully political pushing and absolute moral conviction is the enzyme that allows others to have their head too? I know he doesn’t do it all, and says he can walk out of the practice and it will still flourish..but I think he just makes the space for the positive ideas to flow. And the positive people to come to the fore.
Like Social Prescribing. I didn’t know what that was, really (description here). It starts with the the opposite of normal thinking. Not “what’s the matter with somebody” but “what matters to somebody”. Like a lot of things – simple to say and to “get”. But harder to do?. Of course. But you have to start at the “what matters” question. Like their practice building. Church audience falling? What do our ageing parishioners want? They want social care. Let’s bring the GP in here. Another practice defined many of their health issues were related to crime in the local estate. So bring two police officers permanently based into the building. Guess what? Crime reduced 80% and healthcare outcomes improved exponentially.
It is big joined up thinking. It is all about mind set. But don’t say it to Sam. He doesn’t think what he does is the important bit.
Tough? It is. The passion makes it happen. And others will now follow. Thank you.
Next? Making the High Street healthy….
Good luck, Sam. We get it. You lead, and we will follow…truly an inspirational chat, and chap.