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Making patient centred care a reality means addressing reasons people end up in hospital

Responding to the Royal College of Physicians’ Future Hospital Commission report, Professor John Ashton said: “There is much to welcome in this report.

“We all want our hospitals to be safe, well run places where patients’ needs are put first and communication is joined up. The Future Hospital Commission is an important step towards addressing the reasons why this isn’t always the case. We are pleased that public health is recognised as being an important part of making this vision for future hospital care a success. Public health expertise needs to be at the heart of health service planning, not an afterthought.

“Public health is about prevention, not cure, and so our 3,000 members are working hard to stop people becoming so ill that they needing hospital care in the first place. We welcome the report’s emphasis on this community based care, and want public health expertise to be used so that precious NHS resources are planned well and delivered effectively.

“When it comes to preventing ill health, there is of course much that professionals can do, and individuals also need to play their part in taking care of their health.

“We also need government to step in and play their part to save lives. That’s why we need a minimum unit price for alcohol and standard packs for cigarettes. There is ample evidence that these two measures would save thousands of lives as well as taxpayers’ pounds. A minimum unit price for alcohol would save a million visits to accident and emergency wards, and  help prevent some of the one fifth of hospital  admissions that are related to alcohol.

“If the government can step in tackle the access children have to internet porn, it can introduce standardised cigarette packs to help stop some of the 207,000 children who start smoking every year in the UK from taking up the habit.”

Written: 12/09/2013 , last modified: 24/12/2013