Dr Gavin Francis

Free For All: Why the NHS is Worth saving


Gavin Francis qualified in medicine in 1999, and has written nine books of non-fiction.  He works as a GP in Edinburgh and in the Scottish Highlands. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the Royal Society of Literature.

In 1948, the birth of the NHS pioneered a model of healthcare based on civilised principles of justice, dignity and care. As Nye Bevan put it: ‘no society can legitimately call itself civilized if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.’ So how did Britain’s best-loved institution come to offer such poor service for patients?  Healthcare professionals in the NHS continue to work under immense pressure, despite chronic underfunding, near-zero capital investment, negligent workforce planning, political infighting and a drift towards privatisation. The health service’s ‘new normal’ is a permanent state of crisis; senior government officials now acknowledge that the NHS is close to breaking point.

The idea that the NHS is inefficient or wasteful is untrue. Gavin Francis will set out a defence of the NHS –  an institution that has never been perfect, but which transformed the lives and health of millions – paid for by everybody, for everybody.

Sir Charles Wilson Building

Address: 1 University Avenue, Glasgow – at the corner of University Avenue and Gibson Street.

Access information –  here

This lecture theatre is very atmospheric, as you can see in the picture above. It has all modern facilities but retains many original features in a beautifully refurbished church building. There are good public transport links, free parking very close by in the University grounds from 5pm, plus nice places to eat or drink before the lecture if you want to make a night of it.

The venue has a hearing loop which can be accessed via a hearing aid. The best reception for the loop can be achieved by audience members sitting in one of the front six rows.

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