A photo of the editor, Alistair Forrest

Working with the NHS?

Two highly respected GPs have had similar things to say in this magazine about the role of health food shops in community healthcare.

Last issue, Dr Rupy Aujla, an adviser to the Royal College of General Practitioners, rallied store owners to help elevate culinary medicine among medical professionals.

In this issue, Dr Rangan Chatterjee has something similar to say following his visit to Natural & Organic Products Europe in April as guest of Viridian: health stores have a role to play in working with the NHS to cope with chronic disease, in large part driven by lifestyle.

But how? Viridian’s Cheryl Thallon, writing in this issue, calls for a set of protocols that retailers can sign up to, giving GPs the confidence to work with them to nurture better patient health.

Given that most independent health stores are manned by highly trained and very knowledgeable staff, setting up such protocols would not be difficult, especially if like-minded doctors were to lend their experience of the inner workings of the NHS.

Once this project has been adopted, it would be a simple step for health stores and nutritionists to ‘reach out’ (to use modern business vernacular) to their local community GP surgeries and health centres.

Cheryl’s call is followed by an article by the Chair of the Nutrition Research Partnership, Prof. Sir Stephen O’Rahilly, who outlines ways in which nutrition specialists and academics in our industry might want to contribute to the cause of fighting disease, especially those caused by diabetes and obesity.

Healthcare professionals and researchers are very open to our industry’s involvement, thus presenting an opportunity we should grasp with both hands.

Alistair Forrest
Editor

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