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’….

About Julia Manning

Julia is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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