Book launch – 27th October

The State of Medicine – keeping the promise of the NHS

I am furious, sad and scared for the state of the NHS….

The NHS is ‘the closest thing the UK has to a national religion’. No wonder: it has worked secular miracles. Before the NHS, sick children could not see a doctor before a sixpence was handed over. People died of whooping cough and tuberculosis, illnesses we now scarcely see. When the NHS was founded, almost 70 years ago, people in the UK lived less than 50 years on average – a lifespan which has almost doubled. No matter how poor we are, our health care is included with British citizenship. But the NHS has also been accused of high death rates, lazy and uncaring staff, dirty hospitals and unbridgeable funding gaps. Every politician claims to know how to save the NHS. Margaret McCartney argues differently. She believes that the NHS is world class: but politicians have to stop micromanaging based on faith in their own political beliefs and instead base decisions on evidence. Patients and professionals working together to deliver an evidence-based NHS is the only future – if we want our NHS to survive.

London book launch here .

3 Responses to “Book launch – 27th October”

  1. HJ October 27, 2016 at 9:33 am #

    Comparing the situation now with the situation ‘before the NHS’ and crediting the NHS as uniquely responsible for improvements is ridiculous.

    Other advanced countries have similarly seen huge improvements without having a national (i.e. government-run) health service, so why do you credit the NHS for such improvements? They would have happened under any likely alternative scenario.

    If you want to sensibly make such a comparison, you should be comparing the relative situation in many countries before the creation of the NHS and comparing them relatively now. If things had improved more in the UK, then you might have a point. As it is, you don’t.

  2. margaretadmin October 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    hello Hugh
    this is the blurb from the book and is necessarily short. There is no doubt that the NHS made huge improvements in healthcare in the UK – private doctors were already available at the time of its’ inception. Bevans’ proposals were not debated with an alternative offering on the table; there choice was an NHS or continue as the UK had been doing. The comparison with lifespans is included because the pressures on the NHS are very different from what they were in the 1940s and 50s.

  3. Boat of Theseus November 3, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    A truly outstanding book which brings us back to what we all joined medicine for o, or at least should have done. As a medical director who feels exhausted by fighting the system, you may well have given me reason to continue albeit in a different way after resigning this week.