How good is the NHS, really?
That is the question this book seeks to answer, as the health service emerges from the gravest crisis in its history with more money - but greater challenges - than ever before.
During the pandemic, voters made extraordinary sacrifices to save the NHS from collapse. Thanks to these efforts and the dedication and bravery of the NHS workforce, hospitals were able to treat patients with coronavirus, but millions of others lost out. Now an exhausted and depleted NHS workforce faces a huge backlog. The gap between supply and demand for publicly funded healthcare has never been so wide.
With record numbers waiting for treatment, the politicians' answer has been to spend ever more taxpayers' money. The question is whether throwing cash at the problem will work.
Every day, millions of patients receive care that is fair, good or outstanding. In keeping with Nye Bevan's founding principles, the same treatment is available to rich and poor, free at the point of need. Public support for the concept remains overwhelming. Yet for every positive NHS experience there are negatives: care that is substandard, disjointed and arrives too late. A cult of secrecy surrounds errors and failings. Politicians on all sides dissemble and lie.
This book seeks to strip away the spin and uncover the true state of the NHS: the good, the bad and the ugly. It explores an increasingly urgent question: in an era of pandemics, can the NHS provide the quality of service patients deserve?