Sir Muir Gray: ‘We need to change the way we relate to the people we call patients’ | Healthcare Leader News

22nd December 2017 | By More

Muir Gray has worked in the Public Health Service in England since 1972. He has carried out a number of tasks in that time, for example the development of the National Screening Committee. Currently he is working one day a week as a Consultant in Public Health for the University of Oxford Hospitals NHS Trust, focusing on the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN). In the rest of his life he is developing Better Value Healthcare, whose mission is to publish handbooks and development programmes designed to get more value from health care resources in England, and worldwide. More information can be found at www.bvhc.co.uk. He is also Director of the National Campaign for Walking, a small charity dedicated to promoting walking as the only type of activity relevant to tens of millions of people. He is married with two daughters and lives in Oxford.

Source: Sir Muir Gray: ‘We need to change the way we relate to the people we call patients’

Sir Muir Gray is an internationally renowned authority on healthcare systems, and has advised governments from Australia and New Zealand to Spain and Germany. Angela Sharda asks how he would tackle the crisis in the UK health service

What inspired you to go into medicine?

I started off doing veterinary medicine.

My family is from a farming background and I can still milk 100 cows in a sitting. For no very good reason I changed to human medicine, then surgery, but realised I don’t have the attention span. I am fascinated by what we mean by ‘normal’ and ‘disease’, so I went into public health.

What have you learned in your 45 years in the NHS?

Oscar Wilde said experience is the name you give to your mistakes. I think I have made every mistake. What’s impressed me strongly is how unimportant structural organisation is. We have changed the structure 22 times, but by doing this you develop systems and end up with culture.

The NHS must have changed hugely over that time?

Yes and no. By and large the way in which GPs refer to specialists across geographical areas is unchanged. Many of these habits are long established. I don’t believe that more is always better. I have tried to shift the debate to value. Do we allocate the money appropriately? Do we use the money for the people who might benefit?

How would you describe the state of the NHS?

Read more here:

Sir Muir Grayis an internationally renowned authority on healthcare systems, and has advised governments from Australia and New Zealand to Spain and Germany. Angela Sharda asks how he would tackle the crisis in the UK health service

What inspired you to go into medicine?

I started off doing veterinary medicine.

My family is from a farming background and I can still milk 100 cows in a sitting. For no very good reason I changed to human medicine, then surgery, but realised I don’t have the attention span. I am fascinated by what we mean by ‘normal’ and ‘disease’, so I went into public health.

What have you learned in your 45 years in the NHS?

Oscar Wilde said experience is the name you give to your mistakes. I think I have made every mistake. What’s impressed me strongly is how unimportant structural organisation is. We have changed the structure 22 times, but by doing this you develop systems and end up with culture.

The NHS must have changed hugely over that time?

Yes and no. By and large the way in which GPs refer to specialists across geographical areas is unchanged. Many of these habits are long established. I don’t believe that more is always better. I have tried to shift the debate to value. Do we allocate the money appropriately? Do we use the money for the people who might benefit?

How would you describe the state of the NHS?

Read more here: Sir Muir Gray: ‘We need to change the way we relate to the people we call patients’

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