Supertankers are BIG. Very BIG. So cantankerous they take 'ages' and lots of space (3 kilometres) to turn. Health and social care is in a difficult spot. It needs to change and turn in two respects. One is about perspective, attitude, mindset or raison d'etre; the other concerns a more physical volte-face: policy that frees practise.
So, firstly services need to mutate rather drastically, two faces are needed like Janus, able to look in opposite directions. Instead of (just) gazing into the past and future health services must be disease, ill-health facing AND also health promoting.
Secondly, in addition to the need to adopt a mythical visage, the health service needs to either challenge or perfect its constant-turning. By that I mean the one minute screening, assessing, planning and delivering 'traditional' care; while the next minute addressing a health promotion opportunity or more focused preventive programme.
The cacophony of demand for care services and our need to care means that we must re-turn to the same historic vista, back to the routine target-oriented (vital) business of vomit, piss, sputum, blood, fears and tears: day and night - 365/24/7. Well, what's the alternative? Two distinct services:
- A National HEALTH Service (a real one)?
- A National ILL-HEALTH Service (what we have now)?
To recap then, health and social care workers need the skills and knowledge to look in two directions, treating the effects of ill health; while also promoting health and maximising wellness. Dedicated health promotion teams aside, they must constantly turn - switching to-and-fro - from one task to the other. Demonstrating Neo-like capacities, health professionals deal with disease with one hand, while waving health promotion's standard in the other; but unlike Neo in The Matrix there is no virtual escape. If only the phone would ring!
Hodges model can (as ever) help generate and support pathological (illness and disease) views of health PLUS alternative salutogenic* perspectives, that is - health promoting views.
IF there is a way to do it virtually,
to see in two directions and do two things at once
in the blink of an eye THEN
let that be the start
a new vis~age
(and don't worry - the phone is ringing) ...
*Sullivan, G.C. (1989) Evaluating Antonovsky's Salutogenic Model for its adaptability to Nursing, J. Adv. Nurs., 14: 4.
Image source: c/o Eric Sutic