This article continues from Diane’s Healer Heal Thyself! Time for Healthier NHS Pt.1 looking at alarming reports of the state of NHS employee health.

I have worked directly with the National Health Service, on the inside trying to make a difference to NHS employee health and it has been hugely satisfying work. Here is something about what we have done… 

Core Philosophy

Of course we are all only human and, as I’ve eluded to previously, I haven’t always been able to handle private/personal matters perfectly and ideally uphold the two professions that I am part of – Fitness and Health.  At least self awareness and CPD, when available and do-able, is there to make sure that I’m on top of my game in terms of ongoing skills development.

However, on a personal note, isn’t it time that the self administration of your knowledge is embraced and utilised so your work can continue effectively to the highest standards and you are able to practice in the way you originally intended when you entered the healing, helping and transformative professions?


I wrote ‘Core Philosophy’ for NHS staff and this was based on my time witnessing the very personal struggles endured by hundreds of staff.

I also wrote ‘Motivating the Motivator‘ for the fitness professionals from this.

Even now, when I deliver this programme that I developed some 17 years ago I’m still asked “Why weren’t we taught this at school?” Oddly I get this more from health care staff than from fitness professionals as fitness professionals are more likely to read around nutritional therapy ongoing endocrinology and neuroscience and apply it to client work and themselves.

Client groups I get this question from are right across the board, from NEETS (person Not in Education, Employment or Training) to lawyers and members of the medical profession. The last client group really does beg the question as to what knowledge our health care professionals are learning when they are not able to understand some basic up-to-date concepts in personal care for themselves and their families.

Granted, I understand they are under enough pressure pulling a sometimes lazy and sick nation together, but come on…

Moving forward

Surely something has to be done here and if it is through Zumba or FitSteps on the ward or even people like myself with comprehensive well delivered programmes like Core Philosophy, it’s a start and we can avoid shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted!

An example that is vital for everyone to know regardless of profession or background, and I’m sure WatchFit Contributing Professionals have written extensively about it, is the impact of sugar in our lives.  A sweet and deadly tale that, through lack of actual knowledge is crippling not just individuals, but generations of children, and it’s also laying down a very deep and devastating time bomb for the NHS and its services well into the future.

Time for Healthier NHS_2

So what’s gone wrong that such fundamental information doesn’t seem to be heeded? I’m talking about such things as the impact of sugar spiking and subsequently the rise of ever more synthetically manufactured insulin (thanks to multi-billion pound chemical industries) and so Type 2 diabetes is increasingly prevalent in younger children. Then there is the decay in dentistry, health and obesity related issues as well as the critical area of mental health.

The problem in our culture

We seem to be creating quite a sick Western culture, despite the massive growth in the fitness industry, numbers of gyms, health centres and sports clubs. And never before in the history of mankind has so much information and knowledge been so instantly and easily attainable, there is still laziness, apathy, lack of support and ignorance contributing to some very frightening statistics.

If we can’t even have fundamental health care providers comfortably at grips with this information and able to apply it to their own lives and that of their family, then what hope is there for a whole organisation to which we all turn when our own often self negligence (not always of course) has meant we too need a man/woman in a white coat to ‘put us right’.

Gandhi famously quoted,  ‘Be the change in yourself you’d like to see in the world’.

Will this form of beautiful philosophy only remain just that? Or are we finally starting to see a shift in real terms so we actually ‘do’ what we preach and have the knowledge that enables us to do just that?

Seventeen years is a long time trying to make a difference but ultimately sitting on the periphery along with many Health Care and Fitness Professionals, recognising the shortfalls of other members of our professions who seem unable to organise and actualise getting their own house in order first.

Some good news

Jamie Oliver has done a good job recently in raising numerous issues and WatchFit continues with raising vital health measures for all. In the hospital environment I work in encouraging both primary care and health care professionals to make the changes themselves for themselves and their families while caring for others.  We must never lose sight of this or let the situation become any worse.

That’s another article called ‘Life’ and how it can get in the way of living!’ Watch this space…

To read more about Diane Youdale, visit her Expert Profile.

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