No place for knee-jerk

On the first day of the BMA conference, The Times reports today that hospitals and employees are already reporting stories of cancellations of procedures, laying off of staff and a general short-sighted panicky response to the need to make savings. Although the NHS budget is ring-fenced [which we felt sent the wrong message to other public sector workers], the fact is that every sector of the NHS should be looking to see how they can deliver services more efficiently as it’s the right thing to do when you are spending public money! As a start, there is so much that could be achieved in the short-term that would have no impact on patient care but deliver £12bn of savings to reinvest to provide improved care.

As I said in our health manifesto, industry should be encouraged to provide more health services, individuals should be using services more wisely, professionals need to be enabling self-care and the government should hold providers to account to ensure the highest standards are met and kept. And likewise, unless and until strong leadership  addresses unreasonable or unnecessary public demand, we are really not having the frank conversation with the public that we need to have. We hear it may be happening in private tho’….

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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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