As long ago as 2015, the author of this book – Stephen Smith – together with his brother Ian, published an article in Health Service Journal predicting the crisis in the NHS that is emerging now.
We had barely imagined a lockdown in those days, let alone a global pandemic, yet the roots of the current crisis may have been obvious then. What the Smith brothers say in this short book, the first in a series of 12 monthly books which I am proud to say that Radix is publishing, is that the signs were there back then of the catastrophic crisis now evident in the delivery of UK healthcare. Covid seems to have triggered precisely what they predicted.This book, the first in the series, provides some background about the eight major issues that lie behind the long-term crisis. The others will follow every four weeks or so for the rest of the year and until next summer. You will, I am sure, not agree with everything he suggests, but these are two NHS experts with unprecedented experience behind them. What he says deserves to be taken seriously. If you have an opinion on these – or anything else – please let us know at Radix and we will do our best to hold the reins of the ensuing debate.
In the meantime, here is the full list of 12 – these will not be their final titles, but they give a sense of the breadth of the subject area they will cover:
1. Post-covid introduction.
2. What to do about social care.
3. NHS inequality.
4. NHS and tax.
5. Poor NHS management and what to do about it.
6. Tackling the crisis in older people’s care.
7. NHS primary care.
8. NHS hospital care.
9. Seizing the opportunity to transform the NHS.
10. Improving patient safety.
11. The new medicine.
12. Managing change.