WHY DID WE CREATE
AFTERNOON TEA WITH DOCS?
I (Linda) am an Emergency Doctor. Daily, I need to look into the eyes of patients dying prematurely from acute presentations of long term diseases that I know too well are preventable and even reversible. If only I had the opportunity to meet with these patients earlier in their lives, even just weeks or months, before everything comes to a head, before that heart attack strikes, before they are paralysed by a stroke, before that breast cancer develops and spins out of control; if only I had the opportunity, I could’ve empowered them to prevent things from reaching this breaking point.
These are the diseases which are both robbing our patients of decades of quality living, resulting in premature deaths, decreasing our current generation's life span and is the reason behind our overwhelmed, crumbling NHS. These are the diseases which fill my waiting rooms, create significant delays for elective operations and huge waiting times. For mental health services - the NHS 4-hour waiting time standard for A&E hasn’t been met since July 2015. The 18-week waiting time standard for planned elective care hasn’t been met since February 2016! These are the diseases we all know too well - high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver disease, depression, anxiety, arthritis, falls, dementia, breast cancer, bowel cancer, prostate cancer and so many more!
And these are the diseases that are largely preventable and even reversible! Genetics is not our destiny - scientific research has proven this.
We know that if we had the infrastructure to offer lifestyle change support for our NHS and patients to refer to, we could prevent and reverse these diseases, add life to years, and years to life, and alleviate the burden on our NHS and staff.
So we couldn’t sit idle. We spent all our time, and invested our savings to create Afternoon Tea with Docs, the supportive arm of the NHS, where Primary and Secondary Care clinicians can refer their patients to, a non-judgemental hub where patients are so inspired and empowered that they want to and volunteer to change their habits and lifestyle for health gain, to prevent and reverse these diseases that are responsible for 89% of deaths in the UK.
We cannot prescribe lifestyle like we prescribe medications, yet this is how we are doing it at the moment, prescribing gym memberships or referring to Diabetes Prevention Programme (commissioned by NHS England). We cannot make people change if they don’t know WHY they should and HOW to sustainably change. Habit and lifestyle changes need to come from within and this requires Community, Coaching and Education.
Once people take control of their health, we will see a reduction in the need for our NHS services, waiting times will go down, the financial burden will go down and our NHS staff will have less work-related stress and better job satisfaction!
HOW DOES AFTERNOON TEA WITH DOCS WORK?
Afternoon Tea with Docs (ATwD), The UK's Lifestyle Medicine Hub delivering community, coaching and education through an innovative 6 step offering that suits any patient's health gain no matter where they are on their lifestyle journey has been created as a supportive arm of the NHS, designed to inspire and empower patients to initiate and maintain long-lasting habit and lifestyle changes that have been proven to prevent and reverse the long term diseases responsible for 89% of deaths in the UK.
Our innovative 6-step approach targets the various stages of the cycle of habit change from pre-contemplation to action to relapse, so that the patient, instead of the doctor, chooses to change: