How many avoidable deaths are there in the NHS every week?
What figure should we aim for?
The NHS is the pride of Britain. It’s an army of highly skilled and talented healthcare professionals, armed with the most cutting-edge therapies and medicines, and a budget bigger than the GDP of most countries in the world.
Yet avoidable failures are common. And the result is tragic deaths up and down the country every day.
Jeremy Hunt, the longest-serving Health Secretary in history, knows exactly what the cost is. In the letters he received from bereaved family members, he was constantly confronted by the heart-breaking reality of slip-ups and mistakes.
There is increasing conflict between public pride in the NHS and the exhausted daily reality for many doctors and nurses, now experiencing burnout in record numbers. Waiting lists are up, staffing numbers inadequate, and all the while an ageing population and medical advances increase both demand and expectations. With pressures like these, is it surprising that mistakes start to creep in?
This great British institution is crying out for renewal. In Zero, taking the broadest approach, thinking through everything from staffing to technology, budgets to culture, Hunt presents a manifesto for that renewal.
Mistakes happen. But nobody deserves to become a statistic in an NHS hospital. That’s why we need to aim for zero.
'A deeply moving personal account from the longest serving Health Secretary about what needs to change in the NHS - I wish I had read it when I started out as a doctor' - Dame Clare Gerada 'A real understanding of the NHS's many problems ... essential reading for everybody involved in health care' - Henry Marsh 'A hugely compelling narrative, intertwining forensic evidence and research with powerful human stories to make the case for radical change and a blueprint for how we might get there' - James Titcombe 'Readable, honest and sometimes unsettling ... a powerful case for transparency and supporting a frontline workforce under huge pressure' - Dame Clare Marx, former President Royal College of Surgeons 'This powerful book is essential reading for everyone who cares about the future of the NHS - even (or especially) those who are sure they'll disagree with its author' - Patricia Hewitt, former Health Secretary 'A thoughtful and thorough analysis exploring why despite best endeavours NHS care can go seriously wrong ... a compelling vision of what the NHS, and every other healthcare system in the world, can do to reduce avoidable harm' - Chris Hopson, Chief Executive NHS Providers 'A timely, salutary and occasionally contrarian intervention with an honesty and humanity that will rightly shape debate on the NHS for years to come' - Simon Stevens, former Chief Executive, NHS England 'A unique combination of policy expertise, compassionate narrative, and respect for safety science to the quest for better patient care ... essential reading for healthcare leaders who truly want to help' - Don Berwick, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement 'Highly readable and engaging ... a serious manifesto to improve our most treasured national institution' - Tony Blair
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