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 intense 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 what they term ‘super utilizers’. 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 high intensity users and the use of Think Outs’ Switch Model could benefit the US population.

At the end of the day, human beings are human being. 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.