On the face of it, there may be not be many similarities
between the English and US health systems. One free at the point of use, one
not. But what is common to both nations is human
need and an increasing acknowledgement of the critical importance of the social
determinants of health. Without major consideration
of human beings’ needs as a basis of how we can ‘live’, rather than merely
survive, medical services will always be overstretched and under
pressure. Think Outs’ aim is to raise the profile of a robust social response
to human need, to be in line with a medical one. We’re making progress…….!
England, under the leadership of Rhian, Think Outs’ founder
and pioneer of a very human approach to meeting the unmet needs of some of the
most vulnerable people in our society, has made great strides in both
challenging mindsets and lowering the stigma associated with people who access
healthcare more than expected. Rhian’s approach to supporting people whose only
option they have at that time, is to frequently use healthcare services in the
pursuit of seeking solace, peace, connection, is now benefitting whole
communities across England.
The US also has a population in need. A population that
makes frequent use of health services that could potentially be avoided if a
different approach was available.
Up and down the country, US states are piloting different
approaches to support people. These approaches vary
in outlook, but appear to have a similar ethos of supporting those in need, and
saving resources as a result. Looking for the win-win for both the person in
need and overstretched medical services.
So, with this in mind, Think Outs has been invited to the US
to explore, share our successful approach and find out more about how we can
help. During the Department of International Trade mission to Washington DC and
Atlanta, March 2020, we will be looking to see how England’s experience of
supporting people who frequently use health services and the use of Think Outs’ Switch Model could
benefit the US population.
At the end of the day, human beings are human beings. There
are no ‘groups of them and us’. It’s just ‘us’ and if we concentrate on people,
take notice of what they need, show up and unpick challenges, we are heading in
the right direction.