‘This is a golden opportunity to future-proof our health’: Why the Medical Director of Bolton NHS Trust is proud to join our programme
Dr Francis Andrew, the Medical Director of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, visited Our Future Health’s mobile hub in Bolton on Monday 16th January, to attend an appointment and show his support for our programme.
The Bolton hub, which opened at the start of 2023, is one of five mobile hubs that are travelling the country, offering convenient appointments to new volunteers.
For Dr Andrews, it presented a chance to add his name to our database of volunteers – and set an example that he hopes the people of Bolton will follow.
Helping people to live healthier lives for longer
“This is a unique and fantastic opportunity for Bolton,” said Dr Andrews after his appointment, where he provided a small sample of blood and had some physical measurements taken. “By taking part in this programme, you’re helping yourself, your family, your friends and your community in a way we have never been able to before.”
“It requires very little effort to join Our Future Health, but the data collected – which is kept secure and anonymised – will be incredibly helpful. It will allow us to detect disease much earlier than we can do at the moment, offer new treatments when they are detected, and lead to better health outcomes.”
As the Medical Director of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Andrews sits on the board of directors that is responsible for running the hospital and community services. He is enthusiastic about the power of Our Future Health to help deliver better health outcomes for everyone. “This programme has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of healthcare at this hospital and in our community,” he said. “I can’t overemphasise that.”
“In my role as an A&E doctor I see a lot of patients, who have experienced the very serious effects of diabetes, cancer, of circulatory and respiratory diseases, and of mental health too. Often, they’re diagnosed at very late stages, so they have severe life-threatening complications when they arrive at A&E.”
“If we’re able to diagnose these conditions much earlier, or able to understand who is at risk of developing these conditions much earlier, we can avoid serious complications by diagnosing and intervening earlier.”
Future-proof your health
As well as shaping the future of healthcare, Dr Andrews is encouraging the people of Bolton to volunteer for Our Future Health because they will learn more about their own health. “At my appointment today, I had my blood pressure checked and had it been high, I could have been directed to intervention by my GP to stop anything more severe developing. I had my cholesterol levels checked too – so again, if there had been a problem, I would have been pointed towards further healthcare.”
“I’ve been given a lot of information that’s really helpful in future-proofing my own health.”
Dr Andrews also said he’s excited that the people of Bolton can now join Our Future Health because of the borough’s diversity. Our Future Health is committed to building a truly representative picture of the nation’s health, so that all types of people can benefit from future advances in healthcare.
“This is a golden opportunity to help those less represented in health research,” said Dr Andrews. “The local population being so diverse has led to a greater curiosity about why it is that we have different rates of health problems among different sections of the population. For example, we know that some ethnic minority populations have much higher instances of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”
“If we can get a good data set that’s representative of Bolton’s population, we will learn much more about how to improve everyone’s health. It’s a very exciting time.”