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.