The British National Health Service celebrated its thirtieth birthday in 1978. A Royal Commission was set up to consider the role of the National Health Service, and it is the debates that surrounded this Royal Commission that form the basis for the twelve topics covered by this book.
The economic difficulties that the country was facing when this book was published in 1979 highlighted the widely publicised malaise in the health service, and exposed the limitation of a set of ideals developed by the NHS in the years after the Second World War. These limitations, reflected in the economic recession of all industrial countries, presented a challenge and thus an opportunity to re-examine the nature and purpose of our health service.
Although this work offered no easy solutions, it did present significant implications for public debate and public appraisal of the prospects of the National Health Service, and greatly mirrors the debates that have been stirring in more recent years. This title will be of interest to students of sociology.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Inequality and the National Health Service 2. Health as Ideology 3. Hospital-Centred Health Care: Policies and Politics in the National Health Service 4. The Production of Medical Practitioners 5. The Failures of Health Education 6. Health Costs of Life Style 7. The National Health Service and its Relevance to Industrial Health and Safety 8. Hidden Labour and the National Health Service 9. Practising Health Care: The Nurse Practitioner 10. A Clinical Role for Pharmacists in the NHS 11. Porters’ Problems, Doctors’ Dilemmas 12. The Self-Help Way to Health; Bibliography; Notes on Contributors; Index