Who is at the centre of patient care?

Patient choice has been on the agenda for some considerable time now. Yet today the results of the consultation on opening up GP boundaries revealed that those users who responded were keen to see greater flexibility in the system. This naturally, has been met with resistance from professionals. The argument is that it would break continuity of care and have an effect upon the GPs relationship with their local community.
Yet change there must be. As the population becomes more consumer aware with regard to health they will not be content to stick with the status quo. They will demand more choice, increased flexibility with the ability to determine how and when they receive care, which they pay for through their taxes.
It is time for GPs and healthcare professionals to follow the direction of travel of acute services, offer greater flexibility to those it serves and be more responsive to demand from the public. If this is difficult within current structures then maybe we should be reviewing the models of care we have in place.
If the patient is at the centre of all we do then health care providers need to pay more attention to what the patient wants and give serious change the way they deliver care or they will begin to be seen as self-serving and not responsive to change.

Julia Manning and Gail Beer


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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