How I Discovered I had Breast Cancer

As part of the original team of BBC Breakfast Time, from 1983 – 1987, I was a symbol of health and fitness for the nation in my campaign “Get Britain Fit” wearing my trademark shiny green leotard and tights! It came as a complete surprise to me that I had breast cancer. I was feeling as fit as a fiddle at the time and there was no indication that anything was wrong. I was 47 when I was diagnosed and was at the peak of my fitness.

Public Health Essentials

One of the complaints people make about Public Health is that every public health professional seems to describe it in a different way when asked. This is necessarily so, to a degree. The Director of Public Health or a Consultant in Public Health in an inner city is likely to have a different set of priorities and problems than doing a job with the same title in a West Country rural population. We need people to understand that public health is a type of professional practice that is adaptive and is practised differently in different contexts. However the criticism has some substance too. If you were to ask twenty public health professionals to write down what they meant by ‘deprivation’ or ‘well being’ or the difference between ‘quality’ and ‘value’ then, at present, you would get very different results. Similarly if you were to ask people what the ten most important texts that they studied training you would get different results.

Personal Value in Healthcare

The term personalisation is used increasingly and, as a consequence, has developed an increasing number of meanings.

One of the earliest uses was in the definition of Evidence Based Medicine. Although accused of being cook book medicine, the origination of Evidence Based Medicine emphasised the need to relate the evidence to the unique clinical condition to the individual patient and his/her values: