Better health in harder times: Active citizens and innovation on the frontline

Policy Press
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For years the NHS has been the most trusted of public institutions and the envy of many around the world. But today there is turmoil. Painful shortcomings in clinical care and patient experience, together with funding cuts, threaten to dig deep into service levels and standards. Seventy years of technically advanced medicine provided free to the population has produced a widespread perception of patients as passive consumers of health care. This book explores how we may renew for our times the collective compact that created our public services in the 1940s. Voices from service users and service providers show how this can be done. They offer testimony of what goes wrong and what can be put right when working together becomes the norm. Sections explore new ways of living and working with long-term conditions, more meaningful and effective approaches to service redesign, use of information technology, leadership, co-production and creating and accounting for quality. Accessible to a wide range of readers, with short, accessible contributions, this is a book to provoke and inspire.
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About the author

Celia Davies is Professor Emerita of Health Care at The Open University. She is a sociologist with a longstanding interest in ways of working in the health professions and more recently in patient and public engagement. She carried out a pioneering small study of lay members on health professional regulatory bodies in 2000, has recently audited one of its public consultation procedures for the GMC, and is now herself a lay member on the General Pharmaceutical Council. She was co-author of Citizens at the Centre: deliberative participation in healthcare decisions (Policy Press 2006 – a study of the establishment of the Citizens Council at NICE. Ray Flux has worked as an independent consultant on the interface between clinical professions and services and the people who use or work in conjunction with them, for more than 20 years, following 10 years at the King’s Fund. He works to develop partnerships and dialogue in health economies at local and regional levels, combining process design, facilitating and analytical skills in attempts to promote mutual understanding of different facets of fulfilling potential for high quality healthy lives and possible collaborations for doing this. He writes extensively for clients within his portfolio of projects. He is currently director of Civil Eyes Development Ltd and works in a variety of collaborative teams and networks. Mike Hales addresses innovation in technical-professional domains, including healthcare (as an NHS service user), from a perspective of self-management and the bottom-up, participatory design of work practice and technology. He is author of Living thinkwork: where do labour processes come from? and Science or society: the politics of the work of scientists. Jan Walmsley is Visiting Professor Leadership and Workforce Development at London South Bank University and Visiting Professor in the History of Learning Disability at the Open University and formerly Assistant Director at The Health Foundation. She runs her own independent research consultancy. She was a close associate of Bob Sang, with whom she developed ideas about bringing leadership development in health care and active citizenship into closer alignment. Her most recent books are Community Care in Perspective: Care, Control and Citizenship (Palgrave 2006), co-edited with John Welshman, and Towards a Good Life for People with Intellectual Disabilities (Policy Press 2010), co-authored with Kelley Johnson.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Policy Press
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Published on
Nov 14, 2012
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781447308683
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / Health Policy
Social Science / Social Work
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Elisabeth Rosenthal
A New York Times bestseller.

A Washington Post Notable Book of the Year 

At a moment of drastic political upheaval, An American Sickness is a shocking investigation into our dysfunctional healthcare system - and offers practical solutions to its myriad problems.

In these troubled times, perhaps no institution has unraveled more quickly and more completely than American medicine. In only a few decades, the medical system has been overrun by organizations seeking to exploit for profit the trust that vulnerable and sick Americans place in their healthcare. Our politicians have proven themselves either unwilling or incapable of reining in the increasingly outrageous costs faced by patients, and market-based solutions only seem to funnel larger and larger sums of our money into the hands of corporations. Impossibly high insurance premiums and inexplicably large bills have become facts of life; fatalism has set in. Very quickly Americans have been made to accept paying more for less. How did things get so bad so fast?

Breaking down this monolithic business into the individual industries—the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers—that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal exposes the recent evolution of American medicine as never before. How did healthcare, the caring endeavor, become healthcare, the highly profitable industry? Hospital systems, which are managed by business executives, behave like predatory lenders, hounding patients and seizing their homes. Research charities are in bed with big pharmaceutical companies, which surreptitiously profit from the donations made by working people. Patients receive bills in code, from entrepreneurial doctors they never even saw. 

The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms, she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. In clear and practical terms, she spells out exactly how to decode medical doublespeak, avoid the pitfalls of the pharmaceuticals racket, and get the care you and your family deserve. She takes you inside the doctor-patient relationship and to hospital C-suites, explaining step-by-step the workings of a system badly lacking transparency. This is about what we can do, as individual patients, both to navigate the maze that is American healthcare and also to demand far-reaching reform. An American Sickness is the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart.
Cathryn Jakobson Ramin
The acclaimed author of Carved in Sand—a veteran investigative journalist who endured persistent back pain for decades—delivers the definitive book on the subject: an essential examination of all facets of the back pain industry, exploring what works, what doesn't, what may cause harm, and how to get on the road to recovery.

In her effort to manage her chronic back pain, investigative reporter Cathryn Jakobson Ramin spent years and a small fortune on a panoply of treatments. But her discomfort only intensified, leaving her feeling frustrated and perplexed. As she searched for better solutions, she exposed a much bigger problem. Costing roughly $100 billion a year, spine medicine—often ineffective and sometimes harmful —exemplified the worst aspects of the U.S. health care system.

The result of six years of intensive investigation, Crooked offers a startling look at the poorly identified risks of spine medicine, and provides practical advice and solutions. Ramin interviewed scores of spine surgeons, pain management doctors, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, specialized bodywork practitioners. She met with many patients whose pain and desperation led them to make life-altering decisions, and with others who triumphed over their limitations.

The result is a brilliant and comprehensive book that is not only important but essential to millions of back pain sufferers, and all types of health care professionals. Ramin shatters assumptions about surgery, chiropractic methods, physical therapy, spinal injections and painkillers, and addresses evidence-based rehabilitation options—showing, in detail, how to avoid therapeutic dead ends, while saving money, time, and considerable anguish. With Crooked, she reveals what it takes to outwit the back pain industry and get on the road to recovery.

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