A HEALTH chief from Huddersfield claims more than a quarter of NHS patients would be better off being treated at home rather than in hospital.
Mike Farrar CBE, head of the NHS Confederation, said that 2012 would be a key year for the NHS as it undertook a drive for £20 billion in efficiencies by 2015.
He said: “We have had a lot to talk about changing services but 2012 must be the year we convert talk into action.
“Hospitals play a vital role but we do rely on them for some services which could be provided elsewhere.
“We should be concentrating on reducing hospital stays where this is right for patients, shifting resources into community services, raising standards of general practice, and promoting early intervention and self-care.”
He said a key area could be elderly and frail people, who would benefit more from care at home rather than in hospital.
Mr Farrar, who was also chief executive of West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority before it merged to become Yorkshire SHA, urged the NHS to listen more to the public and change the way health services are paid for.Those doing the day job, however, face major pressures in trying to keep the NHS’s head above water.
“They will be trying to stop waiting times getting out of control.
“They will be focusing on making all the new structures work as a result of NHS reform. We must not allow that to happen if we want 2012 to be a success.”
The NHS Confederation represents all kinds of NHS providers and service commissioners.