News from BSLM

Wherever we look there is uncertainty, or at worst disagreement.

Environmentally – global warming or no global warming. Politically – hard Brexit or soft Brexit. Nutrition science – saturated fat good or saturated fat bad. Research science is itself mistrusted by a significant number of health practitioners and the public alike. Professionally, there is scepticism and uncertainty relating to the basis of some guidelines.

In this climate, health care practitioners are increasingly recognising that environmentally, scientifically and professionally, the principles of Lifestyle Medicine (LM) are evidence-based anchors in this sea of uncertainty. The determinants of lifestyle-related diseases, up to 80% of which may be avoidable or reversible, can be addressed with certainty with our patients who are increasingly becoming engaged and motivated towards their goals of healthy longevity.

On the subject of healthy longevity, I am delighted to report that one of the ’fathers’ of Lifestyle Medicine, Professor Garry Egger, will be headlining at our 2018 conference on 23 June. In addition there will be renowned speakers sharing their good LM practices and others will be introducing us to the ‘big picture’. Delegates will be a mix of disciplines, ages and nationalities. It will be a wonderful opportunity to network with like-minded professionals, with students and to get to grips with the ‘certainty’ of the value of Lifestyle Medicine in our everyday lives.

As a new Society we are anxious to make our mark and be relevant to our members: by sharing our knowledge, experience and learning; by involving and nourishing our student members; by expanding the horizons of our own knowledge; by liaising with the LM community at home and abroad; by influencing policy makers.

For all this we have reason to be thankful and to be optimistic as we plan for our professional and personal healthy longevity!

Slainte mhath.

Rob Lawson FRCGP


BSLM Membership is Growing

Membership has been steadily growing since we launched in February 2017, and we now have almost 200 members from across the healthcare spectrum. We are delighted that the society continues to grow from the grassroots. The diversity of the membership is a real strength and one of the other successes is the large number of undergraduate members. With such enthusiasm, there is a real chance that, in the years ahead, we can make a substantial difference to the health of the nation, as we step away from the acute model of care which is not fit for purpose in the fight against chronic disease. So keep spreading the word everyone, this is a marathon not a sprint! And don’t forget as members you get a special discount to the annual meeting in Edinburgh on 23rd June.



Get Qualified in Lifestyle Medicine

BSLM Diplomate Exam

BSLM is delighted to announce that the first UK Lifestyle Medicine Diplomate exam will be held in Edinburgh on Saturday 11th August 2018. It is presented as a joint Board Certificate with the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine.

The first exam (ACLM) took place in October in Tucson, followed by the Sydney (ASLM) in November. It is a great initiative to have a truly global community of Lifestyle Medicine practitioners.



Member Spotlight: Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein

I’m not some super athlete; I’m not sponsored by a sports brand; and I don’t have thousands of Instagram followers. But I am excited about lifestyle medicine; I can empathise with the problems faced by my patients; and I am driven by a desire to educate the public and fellow healthcare professionals about the immediate health benefits on offer when we improve our lifestyles.

My name is Jodie, I am a GP currently undertaking a three-year junior lectureship which combines clinics in the Armed Forces and NHS, with teaching GP trainees and undertaking research in Primary Care. I first came across BSLM at the Severn Faculty Lifestyle Medicine day. I felt an immediate sense of kinship, based on a shared aim, with most of the other attendees. I’d found something I’d been searching for: a group of clinicians dedicated to evidence-based lifestyle change. They weren’t interested in faddy diets or whimsical musings on energies, they only have patience for things that can be proven to have benefit over time and across populations.

When I was approached to be part of this lifestyle movement as an education lead, I jumped at the chance to join the tribe. Working alongside Rory Heath and Dr John Sykes, we have made it our aim to have at least one lifestyle medicine event at every UK medical school within the next two years.

Since qualifying as a doctor in 2009, I have had further teaching on everything from cardiology to dermatology thrown at me. But if I hadn’t gone out of my way to seek out courses on lifestyle medicine, no one would have come to me to champion its importance. Today I am also working with Dr Rob Lawson to bring International Lifestyle Medicine Board certification to the UK. It’s already available in the US and Australia, but not here. The training combines face-to-face tuition and online CPD with a written examination. It’s not too late to apply to sit the first exam which will take place in August 2018. I believe recognising professionals who have spent time developing their knowledge and skills in lifestyle medicine and other preventative endeavours is just as important as learning how to manage patients who are already sick.

To help increase local opportunities for lifestyle medicine education, I am also putting together an ‘event pack’ of resources for BSLM members who want to host a CPD event for clinicians or their wider community. This is a big task and I would welcome any input from fellow members who have existing learning resources, whether its slides or just positive and negative experiences, please do get in touch with me by email to

Thanks for your time and support. I look forward to working with you all in the future!



Member Spotlight: Joanna Hambridge

My background has mainly involved working in events and marketing for membership organisations. A career path chosen due to a personal enjoyment of working within an organisation that includes passionate and enthusiastic people, who have a common aim and interest in the associations aims. My first job within the events and marketing field was for a small membership association and I have now spent 10 years working in this sector. I had developed a personal interest in Lifestyle Medicine and so when I saw an advert for the BSLM, I contacted Rob Lawson to see if he might need any help with any events or marketing – and he said, yes!

One of my first tasks was to put together a monthly newsletter for BSLM members. The aims of the newsletter are to encourage and increase engagement with members and to share interesting and relevant information and news. The newsletter will feature member contributions and facilitate with sharing real-life stories and experiences, as well as sharing news stories, upcoming events and reviews of past events. In the run up to the June conference, we will also be profiling a speaker each month. Bookings are now open for the conference so please do have a look at the full list of speakers on our website and book your place!

An initial suggestion has been made to ask for members to log into the website, check their details and seek a Directory update (via to their entry with their career experience/job roles/special skills in order to help other members to connect. If you are able to do this it would be much appreciated!

We are always looking for interesting content for future monthly newsletters so please do email any ideas in to  and we will do our best to include them.

I look forward to hearing from you in the future!



Recent Posts from the BSLM Blog

The Walking Tired
by Vickie Morrish

How much sleep are you getting? It’s a question we don’t usually think about. And why should we? We’re constantly reminded that life is 24 hours now, after all. We have the night tube, 24-hour gyms and a FOMO-inspired nightlife just waiting for us to stay out of bed for. There’s no time for sleep. And chances are, you’re probably already sleep deprived as you read this.



Reviews of Recent Events

SMA Masterclass Birmingham Review
by Dr Ishraga Awad

On the morning of Thursday, November 16th, a few of us attended a master class on shared medical appointments (SMA), also known as group consultations (GCs).

But, really? Did that mean a patient consulting with a group of practitioners – like in a MDT meeting? Certainly not!

Of course who would’ve dreamt of consulting with a group of patients at the same time with each one finding out about the “business” of the others? Where will patient confidentiality go? What will the GMC say?

And what is the evidence that it will work better than our traditional one to one model?

Actually what is wrong with our current treasured model? Have we not done it for years upon years? Successfully?

Of course nothing is wrong with it apart from the squashed 10 minutes, illogical “one problem per consultation” banner, repeating the same message to every mother with a child who coughs and every diabetic who needs to get more active. Time to face it, ladies and gentlemen, there is NO EVIDENCE behind this dated model. But there is evidence that GCs are preferred whenever they are offered – by patients and clinicians alike.

And no one ever complained of a breach of confidentiality.

Alison Manson, GCs training lead at ELC (Experience Lead Care ltd) had the answers to all the dire thoughts that dared to stand in the face of innovation in this brave new world!

So, here are some nuggets of wisdom from Alison, things I discovered that morning.

Firstly, GCs are non other than an alternative way of consulting with patients where individual consultations are delivered in a “supportive group setting”. Simple and does what it says on the tin.

They work best for groups of 10-15 people with similar conditions/ sets of conditions. People with LTCs are best candidates.

They take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete – equivalent time would cater for 9-12 standard 10 minute one to one consultations assuming one runs to time and sorts out “one problem” in each 10 minute slot.

And the best news is yet to come! The GP does not even have to be in the room for the whole duration. On average a GP would need about 45 minutes to complete patient facing time. The rest would be spent preparing outputs from the consultations – scripts, letters, etc. plus catching up on other tasks.

Rob then linked it all very elegantly to the core principle of lifestyle medicine (LSM) – patient and physician wellbeing. GCs restore the joy to practice and energises clinicians, help build relationships with people, shift the focus from medicalising to problem solving, addressing what matters to people and allows us to do all of this with enhanced efficiency.

This model has been tried for years in psychiatry (group therapy sessions) and more recently in Rheumatology and Primary Care. Some of its key features and benefits include:

For People & Families:

·         Promotes continuity of care

·         Peer connection and support

·         Confidence to take control

·         Reassuring proactive follow up

For Primary Care Physicians

·         Better use of time – practice efficiency gains

·         Improved staff wellbeing and job satisfaction

·         Personal development

·         Systematic follow up and review

For Both:

·         Longer together

·         Closer relationships and connection

·         Improved experience and outcomes of care

Learning about GCs in practice was the real treat. Listening to clinicians and patients reflecting on their experience of GCs was eye opening and really stimulating. I could visualise a forgotten office transformed into a light and airy consulting room with a “family” of patients sitting together talking about what health meant to them and what they would like their clinicians to help them do. Isn’t that more attractive than a cluttered office where facing the computer is a barrier to the interaction but is important to save time?

Setting it up requires the practice team buy-in so strong clinical leadership and advocacy are essential to promoting it.

What a thought provoking day! It  stimulated in us creativity that lay dormant under the daily grind of multiple demands – patients, carers, systems, QoF, PCCF, CQC inspections etc plus – on top – managing our own lives, which occasionally we remind ourselves about.

It was a day well spent. Not only for CPD but opened a door to a big set of quality improvement activities and service innovation that will brighten up any portfolio!

More details in forthcoming newsletters, so watch the space.
Edinburgh BSLM Meeting Review
by Dr Barbara Phipps

On Wednesday the 22nd November, our BSLM Chairman Rob hosted the first Edinburgh Lifestyle medicine meeting at The Edinburgh Clinic. There was a good turnout, both in the room and around the country via ‘Zoom’. Zoom proved a little tricky in places (!) but we managed to get there in the end and the meeting was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. The meeting gave a general overview of what lifestyle medicine is all about, but there are more meetings to come in 2018, which will cover specific topics such as ‘The microbiome’ and ‘Obesity’. The lovely thing about Lifestyle Medicine meetings is the atmosphere of positivity and optimism. So if you are interested in helping your patients improve their health through lifestyle changes, then please come along.

Join Us for the the 2nd Annual BSLM Conference:

Lifestyle Medicine: Science & Art of Healthy Longevity

Date & Time
23 June 2018 • 0900 to 1800 GMT

Central Hall
2 W Tollcross
Edinburgh EH3 9BP, UK

Speaker Profile

Professor Gary Egger AM MPH PhD FASLM

Professor Garry Egger AM MPH PhD FASLM (pictured above) is acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading authorities on lifestyle and chronic disease. He provides counsel to the Australian medical community, Federal Government and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Prof Egger has written 30 books (including 6 texts), and over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications despite working as a consultant and running his own company for 20 of the last 30 years. Professor Egger was a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) Committee on the Prevention of Obesity in Australia, is the principal author of the initial NH&MRC ‘Clinical Guidelines for Weight Control and Obesity Management’ and has developed the National Physical Activity Guidelines for the Australian Federal Government and in the South Pacific for the WHO. He developed the world’s first men’s ‘waist loss’ program (GutBusters) in 1991.

Prof Egger has run training programs in Lifestyle Medicine and Chronic Disease Management for over 7,000 Australian clinicians and Allied Healthcare Professionals since 1998. In recent years he has moved back into clinical and community research and is currently the CI on a major project on Norfolk Island looking at personal carbon trading and obesity. He is currently the Director; Centre for Health Promotion and Research Pty Ltd, Sydney, Professor (Lifestyle Medicine); School of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University, and a founder and recent Vice President of the Australasian Society for Lifestyle Medicine (ASLMA). He has currently edited (with 3 other authors) the 3rd edition of ‘Lifestyle Medicine: Lifestyle, the Environment and Preventive Health in Health and Disease’; Academic Press, 2017) which is published in 5 languages.

As well as Lifestyle Medicine, his interests include the influence of the environment and unfettered economic growth on health, climate change and the environment as illustrated in his book (with Professor Boyd Swinburn)Planet Obesity: How we are eating ourselves and the world to death’.


Community Events

There are many great community events coming up in the next year. Here are just a few from the BSLM events page:

Nutritank Launch Event
10 January 2018

Event Details +
Are you interested in nutrition and lifestyle medicine? Come and join us on Wednesday 10th January! We have two speakers joining us to chat about a variety of topics.

17 March 2018
Health Icons Lecture Series: Gary Taubes

Event Details +
Gary Taubes’s skeptical, rigorously scientific approach to nutrition science is unparalleled and now he wants to share both the approach and the implications to our health and how to eat to remain healthy.

22 March 2018
BASEM Spring Conference

Event Details +
The balance and timing of exercise, nutrition and recovery is key to optimising health and all aspects of human performance. Intricate network interactions between the Endocrine system and metabolic signalling…

19 May 2018
Public Health Collaboration Annual Conference 2018

Event Details +
A conference at the Royal College of General Practitioners in London that welcomes everyone from healthcare professionals to patients in order to collaborate for better public health.






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