If you’ve just arrived as a Pioneer member this is where it all begins. HealthUnlocked is a social network for health advocates like yourself to start an online movement. It’s about reaching other people and pooling together a mixture of information, support and experience to empower and change the lives of others. Most people with similar health interests also have something unique in their own experience that can help others. Everything here is designed to help you unlock the power of the crowd.

Back in 2007 I was a resident surgeon in a leading UK hospital. Our government was launching a series of changes to the way specialist doctors like myself were being accredited, and 99% of us felt it was a damaging step for the nation’s health, harmful both to us and future generations of patients we’d be treating. Big health institutions weren’t interested, so myself and a handful of doctors got together online. We started bringing more and more doctors into the group through the web. At first many thought we were crazy but quickly we became grassroots advocates for a generation of UK doctors, and in a couple of months we had a movement of 15,000 that provided support, inspiration and information to each other. We organized the biggest medical rally in UK history, an ongoing media campaign and, eventually, a high profile legal action. We got the health reforms radically changed for the better. See the article: bit.ly/R3tCM4

I learnt a lot about the immense power of togetherness, so when I joined forces with Jorge (our CEO) to dream up HealthUnlocked one of the main goals we shared was to make creating an online movement easier for inspired health advocates like you. From my own experience the importance of the group pioneers is the key.

That’s why you being here and reading this today is an important moment. In my experience if you can summon up the persistence to connect with other pioneers, create some activity, and trigger the spirit of a community, there’s no end to what you will go on to achieve together.

This 3 minute TED lecture speaks volumes about it

2 Replies

  • If you like this video you may also like the TED talk by Ernesto Siroli ted.com/talks/ernesto_sirol...

    He believes that the power for change rests with communities themselves and that the first thing any agency has to do is shut up and listen. Then they have to offer to help them.

    I sometimes wonder whether the systems we work within create barriers to listening and helping. The problem gets worse the farther we get away from the consulting room.

    One great approach to building partnerships is not to find consensus but for each party to work tirelessly to make the other stronger. If doctors could work to put parents in control and parents could work to make doctors jobs better life would be much easier. There are lots of encouraging examples here so optimism looms large.

    I am particularly interested in developing services for JIA in South Wales. We currently have few if any specialist services and kids in Wales get sent to Bristol in the South or Alder Hey in the North. We do have one great consultant working in Cardiff but to my knowledge he only has one session per week and no access to specialist nursing, physio etc

  • I agree. My daughter has JIA and lives in Cardiff. There is very little support for RIA and no Paediatric Rheumatologist. It would be great to have more support and help in this area.