Health and wellbeing are profoundly social. In spite of the widespread acceptance of the social nature of health and wellbeing, healthcare practice continues to be predominantly ‘perceived’, ‘managed’ and ‘informed’ by clinical evidence and practice.
As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science and in collaboration with the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, the Institute of Health and Community supported two events. Our aim was to address the disjuncture between health experience and healthcare through actively promoting better engagement with the social sciences and between health and social care practitioners; teaching colleagues, patients, service users and carers.
‘Integrated understanding, integrated care’: conversations between patients and service users, healthcare practitioners and social scientists (two hour facilitated panel discussion, with audience).
Mel Joyner as Chair introduced the multidisciplinary panel which comprised:
- two eminent professors with social science and health backgrounds
- two experienced patient representatives
- two doctors practised in utilising social science research for the benefit of patients locally and nationally.
Speakers included Gayle Letherby (Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute of Health and Community), Dr Tony Davies (Associate Professor and Consultant in Pain Management) and Elizabeth (Betsy) Ettorre (Honorary Professor of Sociology and Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow 2014-15).
The panel discussion focused on the value of social science research in healthcare and how a stronger voice for patients and service users might enhance evidence-informed health and social care practice.
A key aim of the panel was to strengthen existing communities of practice: to ‘make links’.