Panorama on hospitals: they should be the destination of last resort

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.”



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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2 Responses to Panorama on hospitals: they should be the destination of last resort

  1. Pingback: Hospital beds nearly all occupied, say government figures | Atos Victims Group News

  2. omalone1 says:

    Cynicism aside, with all these fatal errors it soon becomes evident that the resources are not the issue here. I think the message is that if you do not have the finances to access proper services, you will be in a spot of bother

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