Scarlett McNally

Wednesday, November 23 2016 at 8:00PM

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Scarlett McNally

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The NHS is creaking. How to we reduce our need for it, as individuals and as a community? The new normal is to spend our final decades with multiple conditions, including dementia. The NHS and medical research is built on single conditions, yet 70% of hospital beds are now full with people with multiple, often preventable conditions and social needs. 75% of NHS spending is on long-term conditions. Future generations of older people won’t have large property windfalls that currently bankroll £1000+ per week either in a nursing home or with a package of care at home, for frailty that might have been preventable.

Scarlett McNally is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon who lives and works in Eastbourne. She was lead author for a major 2015 report from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges ‘Exercise: the miracle cure’. 75% of illness is caused by ‘lifestyle factors’: smoking, diet, alcohol and exercise. 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise reduces a person’s risk of diabetes, dementia, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease and breast cancer, each by 30%. Most of the UK population do so little exercise they are making themselves ill. Exercise helps with primary prevention (never getting it) and secondary prevention (reducing complications when you have a condition, including recurrence of cancer). It helps get people back to work. Why is it not mainstream?

She will demonstrate the vast inequalities in health (mostly around social class). We all need to help everyone to be healthier. She will show how behaviour change is best when fitted into an individual’s schedule. We need to build safer active communities, change culture so that exercise is normal and give people who are cycling or walking a bit more space and time. We cannot afford not to.

Mrs Scarlett McNally qualified as a doctor in 1989, and has three other degrees in Anthropology, Management in the health service and Clinical Education. She is on the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons; she has done (voluntary) work with the BMA, Brighton University and Women in Surgery and lectured in Australia on preventing bullying. She was previously Chair of the cycle group Bespoke. She is speaking in a personal capacity. She is passionate about getting people to be the best they can be, education as empowerment and making health accessible to everyone.