The NHS expresses what is best about British values, and sustaining it is a challenge for us all. We have to meet this challenge at the next election.
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In 2012 I published a book called “What sort of NHS do we want?” based on work I had done on public involvement in health. In that book I argued for a publicly accountable NHS which was more responsive to, and involved with, local communities. I believed that in the future more emphasis would have to be placed on both preventative measures and long term care in a community setting, and that the public had a role to play to ensure this worked. This could often be expressed through social enterprises and voluntary bodies.
Since I wrote the book I have had three years experience as a Lay Member of a Clinical Commissioning Group. This has given me an insight into how the 2012 Act is working in practice, and also a much better understanding of the attitudes of NHS professionals. With another election on the way in which the future of the NHS will be a major issue, I thought it was the right time to revisit what I originally wrote. There is great popular support for the NHS, but also considerable anxiety that it will not be able to continue in a recognisable form. There has been considerable debate during the last two years about how the NHS can survive and develop in the future.
Chapter 1: Introduction: What the book is about
Chapter 2: The principles behind the NHS
Chapter 3: How the NHS functions now
Chapter 4: The current debate: focussing on the NHS
Chapter 5: The debate continues: social care
Chapter 6: Tackling Health Inequalities
Chapter 7: Engagement and Involvement
Chapter 8: The Role of Local Authorities in health
Chapter 9: What the politicians say
Chapter 10: How are they going to pay for it?
Chapter 11: The issues and what needs to be done
Chapter 12: The NHS: A Challenge for us all
About David Taylor-Gooby
David lives with his wife Maureen in Peterlee County Durham.
He taught sociology at East Durham College, and later worked in Patient Involvement for the NHS. He was a member of Easington District Council, A Board Member of East Durham Homes, and recently a Lay Member of a clinical Commissioning group.
He is a member of the Labour Party and hopes their commitment to the NHS will allow them to have an honest debate with the electorate about its future. This book is a contribution to the debate.
He enjoys mountaineering and has claimed many peaks.