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

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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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