2100. 84 years time. What will health and healthcare look like?
Change is a constant in health care. Looking back 84 years, in 1932 penicillin only existed on Fleming's petri dish, and the NHS not at all. Of every 1000 babies born, 63 didn't reach their first birthday, and by the mid-1930s around a quarter of the UK population were surviving on a subsistence diet.
Yet within 40 years, babies were being born with the help of test tubes, and 40 years later, while the human genome had been mapped, obesity presented a far bigger risk than hunger.
For health and care organisations and staff, trying to think how about health will look in the future is key to trying to deliver the best possible care for individuals and populations.
Yet, such change is hard - if not impossible - to predict. And it doesn't help to think about how health could look in the future if you spend your life immersed in what is has looked like in the past.
So how about we ask people more prone to thinking fiction than fact to help us out?
Enter Writing the Future, a new major science fiction writing prize. Open to short stories (up to 3,000 words) on the topic of health in 2100, the award will be given out on the criteria of imagination, insight, and a cracking good read.
We're very pleased that our judging panel will include:
- Don Goldmann, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Jo Bibby, Director of Strategy at the Health Foundation
- Anne Perkins, leader writer, lobby correspondent and feature writer for the Guardian
- Christopher Reason, writer for TV and radio, including over 200 episodes of Eastenders and numerous health dramas, including Casualty
- Richard Smith, writer and former editor of the British Medical Journal
- Nathan Filer, Costa Book Prize award winning writer, and former mental health nurse and researcher
Further judges to be announced shortly, watch this space.
Writing the Future will launch in Autumn 2016, sign-up below to be kept up to date.