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 is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. 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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