“How to get the Most From Your One Wild and Precious Life” in November
BBC TV’s “Have I got news for you” comedian and NHS doctor Dr Phil Hammond argued that most lives need living not medicalising. And for 90% of symptoms, you’re better off with a dog than a doctor!
CLANGERS is a good model for living well, with or without illness:
Connect, Learn, be Active, Notice, Give back, Eat well, Relax and Sleep, not forgetting your 5 portions of fun!
John de Prey’s article on the event:
“Give up the Gym. Buy a Dog!
Dr Phil Hammond, best known to us as a TV personality, explained “How to get the Most From Your One Wild and Precious Life” at an event organised by Farnham Humanists in conjunction with Guildford & Woking Humanists, on the 3rd of November.
Phil Hammond has been an NHS doctor for over 20 years, and is a campaigner, health writer, investigative journalist, broadcaster, speaker and comedian. He has presented five series of ‘Trust Me, I’m a Doctor’ on BBC2. He has appeared on ‘Have I got News for You’ and ‘Any Questions” and has written a column in Private Eye. He is also a patron of the British Humanist Association.
Phil’s talk was hilarious, and while we enjoyed his quick wit and entertaining stories, his simple message sank in. He told us what many doctors know but most of us ignore. We could stay healthier by being better at sharing and caring, dog walking and being more mindful to eat and sleep well, than by running to our GPs for medical solutions or working ourselves hard in the gym. He said “Be kind to your mind”. Dwelling on problems and becoming swamped by things of secondary importance, is hugely detrimental to our health.
He observed that inequality is the biggest cause of ill-health. There is twenty years difference in life expectancy between the well off and the poorest in the UK. One of the reasons for this is diet. Now we’ve effectively tackled smoking, and might be about to do the same with sugar in drinks, we should squeeze processed, sometime poisonous, products out of the food chain.
His take on the NHS was similar to the conclusion of the speakers in last year’s Farnham Humanist debate on the NHS: it is the victim of its own success. And now it struggles to cope because of its ever increasing and costly work load. But it cannot be improved through structural change. Politicians pocking about, “throwing brick-bats” as Phil put it, is not productive because the NHS is built on values. Trust is the issue. Politicians should listen, and see that the NHS works best when staff are, and feel they are, empowered. And when we as patients take an active part in our care, and health.
Pretty dry stuff? Not a bit of it! Phil easily managed to hold us on our chairs alert to every word, delighted by his comedy and quick mind, and then to leave us with his profound thoughts on personal mental and physical health, the threat to our wonderful NHS and how to get the most from our one wild and precious lives.”
More on Dr Phil Hammond:
“One of the most entertainingly subversive people on the planet.” The Guardian
“Tough on doctors, patients and politicians. And he’s funny.” The Telegraph“
Effortlessly suave and delightfully vulgar. You’ll never see a doctor in quite the same way again.” The Scotsman
Phil is a GP turned hospital doctor, writer, journalist, broadcaster, campaigner, comedian, story-teller, story stealer, husband, father, dog owner and walker. He does a different job everyday using the same material, but altering the timing. He works for the NHS, the BBC and Private Eye magazine.
His latest book is ‘Staying Alive – How to Get the Best from the NHS’
His TV credits include fives series of “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor” on BBC2 and many appearances on “Countdown” as well as “Have I got News for You”. As a comedian he was half of the award winning double-act “Struck Off and Die”. He has done three solo UK tours.
Phil has also just become a patron of the British Humanist Association.