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Hughes Hall Fellow to address the most urgent challenges facing health and social care in the country today.

Professor Tamsin Ford joins the Times Health Commission.

The Times has set up an independent Health Commission to “consider the future of health and social care in England in the light of the pandemic, the growing pressure on budgets, the A&E crisis, rising waiting lists, health inequalities, obesity and the ageing population.”

Tamsin spoke to us about the role: “The Commission met for the first time earlier this month. It is a privilege to be part of this dynamic initiative alongside so many prominent people from across the country, representing our social and healthcare system in its broadest sense. There is a determination amongst us to make a significant difference; and most importantly to listen – to the many thousands of patients and practitioners whose views and voices need to be heard.”

“The Commissioners are from so many walks of life and represent a great deal of experience and expertise – this really is a fertile and meaningful space – not just for finding solutions but for seeing them through to implementation. I have high hopes for this process and am proud to play my part in finding a way forwards.”

Professor Ford will bring her expertise in the health and wellbeing of children and young people to the Commission which is tasked with finding the best way forward for our health services across the country.

The Commission has pledged to “consult widely with patients and practitioners around the country to identify problems in the system and work out pragmatic, practical solutions.” Commissioners will draw up recommendations in ten key areas:

  • The funding model for health and social care
  • GPs and pharmacists
  • Hospitals, waiting lists and maternity provision
  • Social care
  • Workforce — including recruitment, retention and training
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Mental health
  • The role of new technology
  • Health inequalities

Tamsin’s most recent work has focused on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people before, during and since the pandemic. Her large-scale, longitudinal studies are providing a new evidence base to help address the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in the UK today. Details below.

The Commission’s fortnightly sessions will consider evidence from a wide range of relevant experts including health practitioners, hospital managers, scientists, politicians and business leaders, including Dame Kate Bingham, the former head of the vaccine task force, Dame Sally Davies, the former chief medical officer, and former health secretaries Sajid Javid and Alan Milburn.

The Commission will run for a year, with a final report published in January 2024. Views are invited from individuals and organisations via: health.commission@thetimes.co.uk.

Further information on Professor Tamsin Ford

A largescale report from Tamsin Ford and a research team looking at the mental health of children and young people in England was published last month. The report from NHS Digital showed one in four 17 to 19 year olds in England had a probable mental disorder in 2022 – an increase from one in six in 2021. For further information: https://www.hughes.cam.ac.uk/about/news/hughes-fellow-professor-tamsin-ford/.

Tamsin is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded a CBE in 2019 for services to psychiatry.

She will be joining us in College in February to speak at an MCR event: Why is my brain working against me? For further information and details of how to book: https://www.hughes.cam.ac.uk/about/events/pending-puzzles-why-is-my-brain-working-against-me/.

The Commissioners will draw up recommendations in ten areas to find solutions for the future of health and social care in England. Image: The Times