How it started:
A GP, a healthcare director and a social entrepreneur in a 17th century pub talking, over a coffee, about providing a cohesive medically focused service for sufferers of long term, chronic pain. That’s where we began in early 2018. We’ve had quite a journey since then!
Based on personal experiences, we (the above) were convinced that something needed to be done to supplement pain management services available through the NHS. Media reports concerning lengthy delays and poorly joined up services helped confirm our thinking. Clearly there was a need for an accessible, multidisciplinary and medically led service which really was patient focused. The key drivers identified were; being seen by a GP within a short space of time supported by ongoing navigation as the patient moved along a multidisciplinary pathway. But this would only work if sufficient time was also allocated to provide individualised care at an emotional as well as a clinical level.
It’s one thing to talk about it, quite another to do something. Consulting with clinical colleagues in Dorset to test the idea showed two things: there was support for an accessible and affordable pain management service and here were also a number of other clinical areas where standard NHS provision was falling short. Clinical colleagues wanted to do something about that, but there didn’t seem to be an obvious or easy route for them to start up diverse, small scale clinical operations that sat comfortably alongside their NHS commitments. There were problems of space, business skills, patient referrals, costs and time.
So the idea of Our Health Hub was born. What if we could create a managed space that would allow small scale, private clinical services to be offered? Diverse clinicians could come together in a supportive environment that would help them develop their individual businesses. As an important part of the offer, the clinicians would also help raise awareness of their healthcare specialities by providing educative events for the local community. This would be a Health Hub for patients, the community and clinicians, driven by response to local need which would truly support health and well being at a local level.
A 2021 update to our story. We launched as planned in the spring of 2019 and started building our community. A number of practitioners (GP, podiatrist, physiotherapist, osteopath, nutritionist, Pain Management specialist, aesthetic specialist, general therapist) joined our practitioner community to provide services from the Hub. We also started a programme of health education events for patients and practitioners.
But, in March 2020, Covid 19 arrived and the world changed …. We had to close our doors and practitioners were no longer able to see their patients face to face. A dreadful ‘on off, on off’ situation. By late summer 2020 it was clear that Our Health Hub as a physical clinic was itself no longer a viable proposition. A period of reflection led us to completely re-evaluate what we could bring to a patient community who were finding it increasingly difficult to access standard healthcare services.
We went back to our roots and our early desire to provide an accessible and effective Pain Management Service. With practitioner colleagues who had been involved with providing face to face services in Poundbury, we have developed a ground breaking and innovative approach to Pain Management.
This is an on-line only offer: face to face consultations delivered by video link coupled with access to a huge e-learning hub holding lessons and exercises to support a practitioner guided, patient self-managed approach to pain management. This is a partnership between patient and practitioner with the patient intimately involved in understanding and changing their condition.
The Poundbury clinic closed its doors in January 2021 and Our Health Hub was reborn in February 2021. We have a new team and a new approach and we look forward to bright future helping a community, now across the whole of the UK, who need easily accessed, patient focused care.
As the story continues, we’ll update this blog as a record of our journey