Shaping a vision for the future roles of GPs & health

Oxford Health Policy Forum has announced it will be working with the team behind an initiative known as The Changing Face of Medicine to help raise awareness of how medicine, healthcare and the role of doctors will – and should – change over the next 20 years.

The Changing Face of Medicine is comprised of recognised individuals within the medical world who are seeking solutions to the many challenges faced by society today when it comes to healthcare.

The role of the doctor is under strain and may need redefining. In such a fast-moving world and with so many stakeholders it is little wonder that there has been little, or no emphasis placed on understanding how traditional roles are changing, what the future might look like and how best to plan for an uncertain future.

Emma Georgiou, Executive Director at Oxford Health Policy Forum said: “It’s about raising awareness and improving things for doctors. And although this is looking at the future, it is also quite topical in 2022, because of what’s been going on with the NHS and workforce planning and the current deficit of doctors.”

Oxford Health Policy Forum is a not-for-profit community interest company that was established in 2016 with the aim of driving change in global health policy and improving the lives of patients with life-changing conditions and those who support them.

It has quickly established itself as a proven driver in health policy change, working in collaboration with medical, patient and policy experts and supported by a team of specialists in communications and project management.

Emma added: “We work with our clients to help them educate doctors and nurses. Often, we work with steering committees, which feature groups of experts – for example, clinicians, economists, pharmacists, ethicists and nurses – all coming together to work on health initiatives.”

The Forum’s vision aligns with the aims of The Changing Face of Medicine, which brings together representatives from the medical profession, patient groups and commercial organisations.

It builds on the BMA Presidential Project of Professor Pali Hungin with the intention of influencing long-term health policy both in the UK and globally with an initial focus on what the role of a doctor will look like in 2040.

Chair, Dr Charlie Bell (University of Cambridge) said “The Changing Face of Medicine is an innovative and forward-thinking group of doctors that aims to reimagine medicine in the medium to long term. We are committed to not only asking the challenging and overlooked questions about the role of the doctor in 2040, but also to shaping a vision that puts the patient at the centre, seeking to harness the opportunities that our ever-changing world will offer to the doctor- patient relationship far into the future.”

Specifically, the Changing Face of Medicine will be conducting work across three key themes:

  1. Changing populations and the changing planet
  2. Harnessing and humanising technological innovation
  3. Training and developing the clinician

Oxford Health Policy Forum will help develop a strategic communication plan to raise awareness and attract funding. The Forum will help produce a series of webinars, articles and videos that will place The Changing Face of Medicine at the forefront of policy decision-making with the aim of driving change and addressing the complex issues faced in the world’s healthcare systems.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of healthcare overnight, with the global race for vaccines, GP visit restrictions, and online appointments adding pressures and opening fresh avenues for both patient-doctor engagement and technological advances. The effect of these changes, both in the short and long-term, will need to be fully understood to ensure the future of healthcare is fit for purpose.

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