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 pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. 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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