The medical machine is spinning out of control. Making the NHS better is about people, not about politics and posturing. It's about recognising that, well or ill, we're in it together. Being promised we'll be able to choose our hospital tomorrow is cold comfort when fighting to see a doctor today. From the pitfalls of communication to waiting lists, MMR to MRSA, this book discusses things we know of but may know little about; the ins and outs, drivers and obstacles, to treating each other well. The first half is a novel, an engaging story set across doctors' surgeries, cafes, pubs and homes. A story about a woman with a neurological illness who also has depression, her conscientious consultant who worries too much about everything while his GP wife anguishes over MMR, an oncologist with terminal cancer, a hospital manager with a heart, even a love-life. A series of accessible, informative essays then explores the 'big issues' that beset the NHS today, from the political football of choice, to jargon, mistakes and superbugs. Essential and enjoyable reading for anyone who uses or works in healthcare, this book argues that it can be rescued, become human again, if we all help.
Sophie Petit-Zeman migrated from research in neuroscience and mental health to communications and journalism, focusing on science, medicine and social care. An award-winning writer, at times patient and carer, she has also worked in the NHS, private and voluntary sectors, in the UK and abroad. Sophie is a council member of the Brain and Spine Foundation and, after completing this book, was appointed Director of Public Dialogue at the Association of Medical Research Charities