About

MBCHB (ED), MRCP, MRCGP, DRCOG, DFFP, PG CERT TEACHING IN PRIMARY CARE

I have worked as a doctor in the NHS for over 23 years in a variety of medical and educational roles.

My passion is in supporting positive physical and emotional health, primarily through lifestyle and behaviour change.

Over the years, I have got increasingly disillusioned with the amount of medication that we are prescribing for our patients, most of which treat just one condition. Given that many are now struggling with more than one chronic disease, this often means that patients are taking multiple tablets, most of which give side effects, for which we then use more tablets to counterbalance. Or we find out that drugs that we have used for years have a newly found long-term consequence and so cause harm in other ways.

Many of the conditions that I see in clinical practice could be treated, or at least minimised and prevented, with changes in the way that we lead our lives, whether that be moving more, changing the way we eat or sleeping better and minimising stress. There is now growing evidence on the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions so it is important that we discuss these more convincingly right from the start of our conversations.

Current work

I work as a part-time GP in Surrey and as a Clinical Champion for physical activity with Public Health England where I run workshops around the importance of physical activity for our health and longevity. I have recently been appointed a regional director for the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine.

I also work as a practitioner and as a Clinical Lead for the new NHS GP Health service  which supports doctors struggling with mental ill-health. I raise awareness of the service and run workshops around mental health and emotional wellbeing.

I run a blog, Physician Burnout to help support doctors that might be struggling with stress, burnout or mental ill-health and also write regularly on wellbeing for @NASGP.

Background

I grew up in a family of four children, both parents working, with all food cooked from scratch – this was the cheapest option at the time.

I am now a mum myself to three young boys and until recently thought that we ate fairly healthily at home. Once I started learning more about nutrition and “healthy eating” and the importance of what we eat for our physical and emotional health, I realised that we had some important changes to make at home. We still have a long way to go, but have started now by taking small steps in the right direction….