What Sort of NHS Do We Want?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012 16:07

The surprise star of the London Olympics and

''the nearest thing to a national religon.'' (Nigel Lawson).

What sort of NHS do you want?

From the introduction to David's book:

' The area I live in provides a microcosm of the problems facing our health service. 

Economic decline has brought bad health and the resulting bad habits.  There is also a large, and growing, population of the elderly for whom care has to be provided. It seems to present an enormous challenge.


But things are not as bad as they appear at first.  There are many good people in the community who are trying to do something about the situation. There is a lively health centre, with innovative and dedicated GPs and a go-ahead manager. There is a thriving garden association which has 250 gardens and a waiting list.  There is an impressive and proactive community Health Forum, entirely run by volunteers who cared about their community and its health.


So there is hope. 

A community which has been on the sharp end of recession and economic decline, and has experienced their effects at first hand, is doing something about it. It made me think.  What sort of role do we see for the NHS in the future?   The NHS will be financially constrained whichever government is in power, and we cannot expect it to solve all our problems alone.  Communities must do something to help.


In this book I attempt to set out my ideas about how a community-based, democratically run health service will function in the future. 

If we are to deal with bad health, it is a job for all of us.  Despite our problems, we have some examples of very good practice that provide some idea of what sort of health service we could have in this country in the future.' 


ISBN: 978-1-907720-60-4

Publication date: October 2012 (paperback)
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About the author

David Taylor-Gooby was a senior lecturer at East Durham College, and ran the Health Studies Degree course in conjunction with the University of Sunderland. He later worked for the Commission for Public and Patient Involvement in Health, and completed a research project on public involvement at the university with Dr Stephen MacDonald. He also served on Durham County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee. This book is the result of his ideas, and the views expressed are entirely his own, and not those of any of the organisations with which he is associated.



"David is an expert in the field. He has dedicated his life to the study of health care reform. His opinions are formed after much reasoning and focus on empirical data. For these reasons it is always worth reflecting at length on what he has to say. Given his particular experience of health care in one of the most deprived areas of the UK, his grasp of narrowing health care inequalities is of particular importance.

Dr Eoin Clarke, The Green Benches



Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 The principles underlying the NHS

Chapter 3 What the NHS is like now
Chapter 4 Patient and public involvement: an overview

Chapter 5 Involvement at a local level
Chapter 6 Foundation trusts

Chapter 7 Tackling health inequalities

Chapter 8 The role of local authorities in health

Chapter 9 International comparisons

Chapter 10 The conclusion: pulling everything together
Chapter 11 The way forward