This morning I had the privilage of listening to three very interesting talks during the 5th Annual Curriculum Conference at the Cardiff University School of Medicine. I am going to describe them briefly.
The first talk was from Ruth Hussey OBE, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales. Ruth talked about the key challenges in Wales and went on to talk about the four key principles of prudent health. Prudent healthcare is an important concept underpinning the planning and development for the NHS in Wales. I think there is an element of cost saving but there there does also seem to be a genuine attempt to change clinical care in a way that can become more empowering for patients.
Ruth Hussey’s four key principles of prudent healthcare:
- Focus on Health and Wellbeing
- Caring for those in greatest need
- Do what is needed – no more, no less – and do no harm
- Reducing inappropriate variation.
The second talk was by Dr Chris Jones CBE, Chairman of Cwm Taf University Health Board. Chris’ passion and enthusiasm was impressive. He talked about Keir Hardie University Health Park in Merthyr. I really liked Chris’ point about the community and the role of the community. He talked about a ‘patient volunteer’ he had met at the Health Park and gave an inspiring quote from the patient: “It is an honour to give something back to an NHS that has taken care of me and mine.” In my opinion, community is one of the key strengths of Wales. My personal experience is that Welsh people work well together for each other. This makes Wales a very special place, I believe.
Chris also described a holy trinity of teaching, research and practice. He cautioned us about creating imbalances between these three things. He described his ambition: let’s teach, research and practice together. He challenged all of us in the Medical School with the question: can we give the knowledge back?
The third talk was delivered by Professor Val Wass, Emeritus Professor of Medical Education, Keele Universty. She talked about three key factors affecting the future of medical education:
- Transformation of Knowledge – which alters the power base for clinicians.
- Reversal of world domination – huge numbers of students graduating in India & China.
- Climate change
She recommended reading an article from the Lancet entitled: Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world. I think a key message was that we should encourage empathy and self knowledge in our medical students in order to promote a more open consultation with patients. Very interesting.
In summary, this was a very enjoyable and thought provoking session. My thanks and congratulations to the Conference team: Julie Browne, Caitlin Golaup, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Suzanne Morse and Dr Steve Riley.
For more info see the discussion and photos on twitter with the hashtag: #cdfmed15