Blog 2: Kayleigh Barnett – the TEDxNHS series

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Nov 07 2019 Blogs

My second blog moves on to cover the mid-morning sessions I attended, they were slightly more light hearted but by no means less impactful and powerful.

Firstly, Andy Knox a GP whose message was a simple as it was sensible- in order to be truly well, we need to concentrate not just on health, but on wellbeing too, by building a culture of hope, inclusivity, joy and kindess. And as the daughter of a science teacher, any session that invokes Louis Pasteur and Antoine Bechamp will get my vote!

Tweet credit: @wellbeingandy

Andy’s session was focused on working from the positive and one of the key quotes for me was ‘hope does not come from focusing on all of the things that go wrong’. This links directly to appreciative inquiry and the fact that ‘what we focus on grows’ This is another subject close to AQuA’s heart, and you can check out our website for further information.

The final session before lunch was Raj Adgopul who spoke to us about his experiences of coming to the UK as an immigrant nurse. He thought he would be dead by 35 if he stayed in India, but upon applying to come to the UK for work was informed that ‘in England people don’t die. Even if you want to die, the great organisation called the NHS will keep you alive’. His talk was peppered with humour and he had the room in stitches but he had some really key points. When dealing with people from different cultures, sometimes we have to speak to them in the way they are used to being spoken to- we can’t expect everyone to adhere to our cultural norms. Also, and another appreciative inquiry point, you can’t feel bad and appreciate at the same time.

Tweet credit: @kbarnett2019

Our first session after lunch was delivered by Jacob Bayliss, who is a transgender man who leads #prideinpractice. He was talking to us about the invisible people in our health care systems. He started by saying that sometimes being invisible can be a blessing- no one pointing or whispering, but when it comes to healthcare being invisible can be incredibly dangerous.  For example a trans man might not get a reminder about a cervical smear as the system will not always pick him up. This was something I had never even thought about, and it made me wonder how many other issues within our systems I am totally blind too. He also talked about how we can all make a difference- by not being afraid to ask ‘how do you want to be addressed’ , ‘what do you need?’ we can make our systems safer, for everyone.

Tweet credit: @dramandawebb

The next session was from Sarah Hillman talking about how she came to identify as a #medicalfeminist. Her session opened my eyes to a massive issue I had never even considered. Medical research is done on male subjects. Male mice, male rats, overwhelmingly large numbers of men in clinical trials. Because women’s hormonal cycles skew the results. So when it comes to research, diagnosing, prescribing and dosing, it is being undertaken from our knowledge of how drugs affect males. Never mind anything else, Sarah showed us an image that looked totally alien to many of us, and i wasn’t the only person shocked when she said this is what female anatomy looks like- even in textbooks women are often invisible. I am now proud to say that #Iamamedicalfeminist thanks to Sarah.

Tweet credit: @sheena_visram

Come back tomorrow for my final blog, where I’ll be talking about the final sessions I attended on the day covering the effects of PTSD, mental health rehab and life limiting medical conditions.

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