The chief guest for the 2013 Preston Health Mela was Paul Buckley, Director of Education at the General Medical Council. Paul led the GMC’s preparations for the successful merger of PMETB with the GMC, and the development of the GMC Education Strategy 2011-2013. He joined the GMC in 1996, became Director of Education in 2008, and Director of Education and Standards in 2012. He helped to coordinate the GMC’s evidence to a number of public inquiries including the Shipman Inquiry, and the GMC’s work programme following the White Paper ‘Trust, Assurance and Safety’ published in February 2007.

Speaking after the event, he said: “The energy and commitment of everyone involved in the Mela was plain to see. I was particularly pleased to have the chance to talk to the Manchester medical students about the health checks they were doing (under appropriate supervision!) and they were hugely impressive. Raising awareness about how we can take control of our health and well being is a really important issue in the UK today – the Mela manages to do this, while being fun and relaxed too. Thanks again for the chance to be involved, and good luck for next year!”

We were also fortunate to welcome Mrs. Shami Chakrabarti CBE, Director of the UK-based civil liberties organisation, Liberty.

Nicole Russell, speaking on behalf of the Health Olympics teamThe theme of the associated breakfast meeting was ‘the role of the Health Mela in training medical students’ – an aspect of the NFH&W’s work that has been recognised nationally as a model for other to follow. The meeting was chaired by Professor Rob Campbell, Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) of Bolton University.

The video below shows Nicole Russell, speaking on behalf of the Health Olympics team. The video was produced by Lancashire One.

A press article from the Lancashire Evening Post can be seen here.