Press Release: December 3rd 2012
Panorama will be covering more of the Dr Foster report in “How Safe is Your Hospital?” on Monday, 3 December at 20:30 GMT on BBC One.
Tonight’s Panorama programme will look at the high and risky levels of hospital bed occupancy rates in the NHS.
Commenting on this situation, Julia Manning, Chief Executive of 2020Health, said: “There are three main issues here:
“The number of hospital beds we have is NOT the issue. Too many people are being admitted to hospital who should not be there. Whilst it is essential to provide beds for those who really need them, many are occupied by patients awaiting emergency surgery, some waiting days before securing a theatre slot. Then up to 70% of beds are occupied by medical patients many of whom have a long-term condition. This is not the best use of acute resources.
“Secondly, lack of access to our online medical records means that families often don’t know how to help, when it is possible for them to do so. Lack of information is preventing timely action by friends and family, as well as health professionals.
“Thirdly, the purchaser / provider split has meant hospitals, GPs and community teams do not work together properly. It pays a hospital to admit someone, when it would be cheaper to support them in their home. There are too many perverse incentives still in the system and cuts to social care mean that the NHS is left with non-medical problems to try to sort out.
“People still think that hospitals are the best place to go for treatment. In reality, they are the modern day workhouse. We’ve got to drop our attachment and make them the destination of last resort.”