Dixon proposes 50 percent cut in hospital services (UK)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 19 July 2013




(2013), "Dixon proposes 50 percent cut in hospital services (UK)", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 26 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/lhs.2013.21126caa.006



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Dixon proposes 50 percent cut in hospital services (UK)

Article Type: News and views From: Leadership in Health Services, Volume 26, Issue 3

Keywords: Hospital Services in Community Settings, Patient Friendly Healthcare in the UK, Public Attitude and Healthcare Delivery

Half of all hospital services should be delivered in community settings closer to patients’ homes, the chair of the NHS Alliance has stated.

Dr Michael Dixon, a GP and a member of National Health Executive (NHE), said this could cut “an awful lot of fat” from the National Health Service (NHS) budget, and make care more patient-friendly.

He admitted that such a move would be politically difficult, but suggested that it was necessary, particularly in the case of elderly patients.

Dr Dixon told the Guardian newspaper: “A very large amount of what’s currently done in hospitals could or should be done elsewhere. I think 50 percent. The implications are that hospitals would need to downsize and become places where you go if you are very ill or need very specialist care and not places where you go for more generalist care or where you can be looked after in the community.”

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar agreed that public attitude to hospitals needed to change and said: “We need to explain to people that there are better ways in which we can care for people and that the aim should be to keep people living independently out of hospitals for longer. But to do that we need to take some of the money that goes into hospitals and put it into primary care and community care services instead.”

But a British Medical Association (BMA) spokesman said that taking “an arbitrarily defined chunk of services away from hospitals would threaten their financial stability” and added that the answer was instead a rational, long-term approach to service planning.

A spokesman for NHS England said: “There is no doubt that delivering the best possible care for patients at a time of economic austerity is going to be very challenging and that we need to adapt the way that services are delivered in order to provide the best possible to today’s patients.

“It is really important that there is a full debate about these issues. It is also really important that our new GP commissioners are ready to lead this debate with us. We need them to help the NHS face its strategic challenges and the difficult decisions that will in some cases be involved. We therefore welcome Dr Michael Dixon’s contribution to the debate.”

For more information: www.nationalhealthexecutive.com

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