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 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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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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