How Britain Loves the NHS

Ellen Stewart


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Bristol University Press
5 July 2023
ISBN: 9781447368878
170 pages

From the publisher

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence. What does it mean to love a healthcare system? It is often claimed that the UK population is unusually attached to its National Health Service, and the last decade has seen increasingly visible displays of gratitude and love. While social surveys of public attitudes measure how much Britain loves the NHS, this book mobilises new empirical research to ask how Britain loves its NHS. The answer delves into a series of public practices - such as campaigning, donating and volunteering within NHS organisations - and investigates how attitudes to the NHS shape patient experience of healthcare. Stewart argues that these should be understood as practices of care for, and contestation about the future of, the healthcare system. This book offers a timely critique of both the potential, and the dysfunctions, of Britain's complex love affair with the NHS.