Doctors must explain benefits of reconfiguration to patients, conference hears

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 27 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f4195
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Doctors must show leadership and speak up publicly in favour of closures of NHS hospital services when the clinical evidence demands it, a conference has heard.

Patients will more readily accept that services need reconfiguring when they hear it from clinicians whose own units will shut, experts said.

David Fish, managing director of University College London (UCL) Partners, an academic health science partnership, urged colleagues to communicate frankly and effectively with the public.

“Leadership,” he said, “is clinicians saying what we could stop doing here [their own workplaces] and do better somewhere else.” He said that doctors should explain how redesigning services across whole systems could help prevent illness and enable earlier diagnosis and should spell out the cost of inaction …

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