WHO IS DR. PETER BRADLEY?
“Think about what you want to have achieved, the values you are bringing to the field. The clearer you are about those things the better. There will be frustrations but for that you just need to keep you values in sight.“
Dr Peter Bradley is the Director of Public Health Development at Public Health Wales. He is committed to improving and protecting the population’s health, by reducing health inequalities, maintaining excellent public health services and making health information and evidence accessible and relevant.
According to Peter, working in the public sector can often times bring about “incredible frustrations.” Nevertheless, he believes that he can make a positive difference by working in the sector. His yardstick? “Think about being 85. And think about what you actually want to have achieved.”
Public Health Wales aims to create a healthier, happier, and fairer Wales. One of the biggest challenges the organization and Peter seeks to address, is how to narrow the health inequality gap. Peter began his career in general practice and began to notice repeated medical conditions that had roots in people’s income levels. It was this revelation that prompted him to join Public Health Wales and attempt to mitigate these perpetual medical cases.
Regardless of income level, Peter believes the following four lifestyle choices can increase your lifespan by 14 years. They include: moderation in alcohol, regular physical activity, refrain from smoking, and a well-balanced diet. In his attempt to communicate this advice, Peter remarks that “the use of technology is going to become bigger and bigger in terms of service access and information.” In fact, Peter has regularly begun to tweet his personal views which you can follow here: @peterbradley1965
Peter ended our interview through reflection on the many difficulties he incurs through this job. “You almost accept failure as part of your trajectory. Almost every initiative that I’ve ever tried to do which involves substantial change meets considerable setbacks… Accept failure and let go. It’s getting the job done that matters.”
Peter has worked in public health for many years in the UK and abroad. For 5 years he worked as a senior medical advisor for the Norwegian government, advising on clinical policy, health technology assessment and was the acting head of the Norwegian equivalent to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.
He has a strong commitment to using evidence and promoting its use in practice. He has a ten year history of international/national teaching on evidence-based practice and completed a PhD focusing on medical education.
You can connect with Dr. Bradley here:
IN TOR 076 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- Public Health Wales, the “broad arena” that is a national public health system, and what its head does every day.
- Factors that affect public health both locally and globally, from income inequality and socioeconomic conditions, to personal habits.
- Modern advances in public health thanks to information technologies such as big data and genomics.
- His straightforward career development.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Public Health Wales
- Norwegian Government
- Public health
- Wealth gap effects on health
- Big data
- Childhood obesity
- Personal habits, behavior and motivation
- Cardiff, Wales
- Victoria, Australia
- New Zealand
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
Public Health Wales
Organization responsible for population health: protection, policy, health improvement. “Broad arena.“
What is public health inequality
There is a health gap between rich and poor. “We want to see the gap narrowed.“
There are people struggling here, as around the world. One of the global problems.
Finished Ph.D. in the UK.
Medical student first. General medicine, started to see common problems and their link to socioeconomic conditions. Hence, public health.
Norwegian stint. Doing research, advising on availability, policy decisions. An experience in terms of good care examples, less inequality.
Political decision making tends to be under-informed, both as individuals, politicians, and as a system.
Data driven public health
Trajectories are changing: child obesity and the chance children today have less longevity than their parents for the first time.
Recently several links to longevity have been discovered: exercise, moderate drinking, no smoking. It is starting to shape policy.
Work of a public health head
Little time fundraising, fortunately.
Lots of meetings, many kinds, some procedure, some with people.
Talks to people overseas, exchange lots of information, evidence. Australia, New Zealand.
Quite a bit of bureaucracy.
It’s about logistics, reaching people across the demographics.
Managing a large scale, striving for impact.
Collaboration is fundamental. As long as we all share a vision for a “healthier Wales.“
People need to be motivated about their own health. Fortunately we’ve seen response.
Traveling opportunities, see how places (Victoria) have found answers.
Findings from international partners have opened the doors to new areas of action: chronic unemployment, psychological issues, self esteem.
Peter’s view of his own position down the chain
“I miss general practice. I enjoy teaching, coaching, working with communities.“
Ran community programs, very enriching.
500 staff across Wales.
Partners help get a message across.
It’s all about increasing cooperation, solidifying a network. Working with schools.
Increasing use. Wise use of tech is encouraged. Twitter has helped him increase his visibility.
Internet based services are more prominent.
Big data has a big potential, Wales has large repository ready to be used.
Future game changers
Genomics, learning more, creating specific courses of advice for lifestyle and personal treatment. It also helps with management of outbreaks.
Use of communities, their assets. “What can we do to organize communities, make it easier for them?”
Path, wins and losses
Jobs awarded mostly through applications, interview processes. Norway was an exception, his wife came from studying, connected him.
There are challenges of the time. “Failure is part of your trajectory. Almost every initiative entails substantial change,” things are ready to “not work.“
Talking with a lot of people before starting an initiative is crucial, you need to assess the level of support it can get, how it would be received.
It is important to understand the local capacities.
Failure is second to final results.
“Think about what you want to have achieved, the values you are bringing to the field. The clearer you are about those things the better. There will be frustrations but for that you just need to keep your values in sight.“
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