Cameron Direct on Health

Julia Manning, Chief Exec of 2020health, has been asked to host the next ‘Cameron Direct’ which is exclusively on the subject of health. She has written this blog for the ‘Blue bog’ website:

When I think about how many thousands of patients I have seen in the NHS over the years, it really hits home what a brilliant institution the NHS is. I have literally seen sight restored to the blind, the lame walk and heartbeats return – and no-one then crippled by the bill. A national structure for treating the sick, the original model was literally a framework to enable health professionals to get on with their jobs.

This isn’t exactly how most people would describe the framework now. Excessive targets, activity pressures and perverse incentives are undermining the delivery of care. Professionals can feel at times that they have little influence on priorities, the public still struggle to have their opinions heard, and volunteer fundraisers are now threatened with nationalisation. Expertise, pride and goodwill are all being undermined.

I set up the web-based think tank in order to give frontline experience a voice, so I am delighted that the Conservative Party is engaging with both the public and health professionals in a special online ‘Cameron Direct’ devoted to its healthcare policies.

If you go to the Draft Manifesto page you can vote on what questions should be asked to David Cameron about those policies – either by submitting your own question, or rating others. Then on Friday I’ll put the most popular questions to David in a live webcast. There have already been 25,000 votes in the last day or so, so I hope you will have your say too.

This sort of direct exchange has to exist if we are serious about both democracy and improving the NHS and healthcare in the UK. I’m really excited about the public meeting on Friday – not because David will necessarily have all the answers, but because it’s a step towards re-enfranchising all of us who want to see the NHS thrive in the years ahead.


About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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One Response to Cameron Direct on Health

  1. T Owen says:

    I hate to be a backward thinking health professional, but… health care is about caring for sick individuals and supporting healthier communities. To make mention of “Excessive targets, activity pressures and perverse incentives are undermining the delivery of care” only highlights the actions of previous Conservative Governments and compounded by successive New Labour Governments.
    i find it incredulous that there are still those out there who talk of the need for “competition in healthcare”. There is absolutely no need for competition; the “market” does not deliver greater choice and felxibility as has been shown by the banking system collapse. add to this is that no profit should be made of others suffering.
    i have no intention of stating how healthcare should be run, it’d take all my time to write the blog instead of getting on with caring for those people and communities i’m paid to care for!

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