UPstream Healthcare is about my general approach to public health, clinical and social care and is about acting on all possible and preventable causes of ‘illth’ (ill-health, distress, and disease) in our society; or should I say ‘economy’ – since that seems to be the only language currently in use at the village of Westminster to describe what I grew up in as a ‘culture’ and then a ‘society’.
I completed a Biochemistry degree at Sheffield University in 1973 and qualified in Medicine from the University of London (Middlesex Hospital) in 1978.
I worked as a GP In Twickenham, London for 17 years and following a sabbatical year during which I founded the National Depression Care Training Centre in Northampton and Primary Care in Mental Health Group (which became the charity Primhe – Primary care mental health and education), retired from the NHS in 1999 on medical grounds (major depression on and off since 1986).
Whilst at the charity, together with the Doctors Support Network, I set up the Doctors Support Line and established a Masters for GPs with a Special Interest in Mental Health. During this time I was also Trustee and Chair of the charity Depression Alliance for 7 years and served on the National Mental Health Task Force and contributed to a number of Department of Health initiatives, including NIMHE (the National Institute for Mental Health in England), “From Here to Equality”, “MindOUT for Mental Health” and SHIFT. I was an active member of the RCGP Mental Health Taskforce for 8 years, raised funding to enable the work of that group to continue and helped to set up the joint RCGP-RCPsych Primary Care Mental Health Forum.
I left Primhe in 2009 to become Director of Upstream Healthcare Ltd, now UPstream Healthcare. I am Chair of the Faculty for Mental Health at the College of Medicine, Convenor of Action for NHS Wellbeing, Trustee of Richmond Health Voices- Healthwatch, an Early Years Champion for WAVETrust and serve on the editorial boards of The London Journal of Primary Care and the Journal of Compassionate Healthcare.
I am passionate about the importance of the personal health and wellbeing of those who deliver heath and social care as well as creating the contexts in which they can thrive at work.
I am equally passionate about the need to Dump Descartes and the dualistic thinking, attitudes and behaviours that derive from time-expired mental-physical, mind-body and mind-brain paradigms. It is also high-time for a New Enlightenment in which Art and Science are reunified. There is a Science of Compassion and an Art to Medicine, as well as vice versa.