People: peers, pain and power February 26, 2016 David Halpern One of the most fascinating and important areas in life is surely the fine line between wanting to help, and being wary of, those around us.
One of the most fascinating and important areas in life is surely the fine line between wanting to help, and being wary of, those around us. It’s a tension woven deeply into policy and into our humanity.
Recently I had one of those afternoons where an accident of meetings seemed to tell this story especially well. We are working on an interesting health project with Nesta, the Health Foundation, Voluntary Voices, Newcastle University and PPL called Realising the Value. It is about supporting people, and those around them, to better manage their health – and to change the relationship between healthcare providers and the people and communities who interact with them.
As part of this project, I found myself on a panel at a Nesta-organised event on People Powered Health, alongside Edwin Fisher. Edwin works on peer-to-peer support groups and gave examples of groups from across the world, including China, the US and Latin America where people help each other to preserve health on their terms.
We considered how human-centric principles should be baked into the design of health services. Project RED in Boston, for example, uses iPads to explain better to those leaving hospital how to manage their medication and conditions – allowing more time and detail than a busy clinician may have. Those who experience this programme have reduced readmission rates – down by 30% in the 28 days after discharge.