Medical checks at football grounds

25 Feb 2009 by Karl Hallam

Innovation, personlisation, humanisation, choice, tailored to the individual. Different audiences will differ in what these terms do and do not mean, but a new initiative to offer medical check ups at Premiership football grounds launched today definitely more than ticks some of these boxes.

Professor Alan White of Leeds Metro University the leading light on this and othe rmen's health projects says:

'The idea is to bring health services to men who may feel more comfortable having a check-up at a sports ground than they would using traditional health services, such as a GP's surgery. There are around 20,000 men there for the match, many of whom would usually be reluctant or unable to see their doctor. When we did some of these sessions last year, we found men who had health problems they didn't know about, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, and pointed them to where they could get help'.

Cadence's previous work on goverment sports policy included discussions with the NHS on their use of St Helens Rugly League ground for helath screening. This is something we have quoted many times as an example of innovation.

Another similar example is the Design Council's DoTT project in the North East of England which looked at sexual health services for young people. They worked from the premise that:

Wouldn't it be great if sexual health clinics were placed in everyday situations? Clinc areas at the back of high street fashion stores, for example, might encorage people to look after their sexual health as part of their normal lifestyle.

Interestingly in the same Guardian Society supplement Shadow Chancellor George Osborne writes about innovation too and his interpretation is quite different. He says:

'Micro-management from the centre has driven out innovation and replaced it with risk aversion. In all the chaos, a focus on financial discipline that delivers good value for taxpayers has been all but forgotten. This has to change. If we want to live within our means, we must build a culture that emphasises responsible spending in government'.

He adds later on that:

'We can all see the lost opportunity and wasted resources of recent years and the imperative need to build a government organisation that can live within its means'.

Some might say it is interesting to consider whether the medical check up initiative would survive when services are living within their means?

your comments

riekeihu
Posts: 3
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Lettie
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brDnHllhZ
Reply #2 on : Sun January 29, 2012, 06:00:17
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James Rimmer
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Five habits of innovation
Reply #1 on : Thu February 26, 2009, 14:28:26
Male health checks at football matches appear to be a good example that supports the principles of innovation set out by Jonathan Kestenbaum, Chief Executive of NESTA, at his recent lecture to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the University of Bristol. Jonathan Kestenbaum described what he called the five habits of innovation, namely:

- a clear sense of (national) purpose;
- a culture of risk;
- a collaborative approach to innovation and problem solving;
- financial support; and
- focused ambition.

All elements of these habits are shown in this male health check initiative; a clear aim to improve male health - a recognised area of need; an element of risk would clearly have been present when establishing the clinics as with any new initiavive; coolaboration between healthcare and premiership clubs; and an ambitious goal. Finance is not mentioned but would clearly have been neeeded even if only to pump-prime the initial work behind the project.

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