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Saving sick Britain

Why we need the 'Health Society'

By Martin Yuille and Bill Ollier

Saving sick Britain
Hardcover

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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5228-2
  • Pages: 304
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: February 2021
  • BIC Category: Politics, MEDICAL / Health Policy, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy, MEDICAL / Public Health, Society & social sciences / Social issues & processes, Medicine / Health systems & services, Public Health & Preventive Medicine

Description

Britain is sick and it needs saving. Covid-19 has brought death, disruption and disorder. It has revealed fundamental failures in public policy and our approach to health. For years, the same failures have perpetuated a host of modern plagues - long-running deadly epidemics in diabetes, depression and heart disease. These plagues pose systemic risks to society itself.

In this timely book, Yuille and Ollier envisage a society that always puts the health of citizens first: the 'Health Society'. The time for dithering and tinkering has passed. Prevention of disease is a task for all branches of government - not just the NHS but also for every workplace, employer, community and citizen. The 'Health Society' means working in radically new ways to extend our healthy lives and sustainably increase national prosperity.

Saving sick Britain follows the science and lays down a challenge to us all: are we ready to make the change required to end these modern plagues? In answering the question the book helps steer the reader towards rethinking what both 'prevention' and 'health' mean in modern Britain.

Reviews

'This book will enlighten all who care about the need to rethink how we create a healthy society. Health depends on the kind of society we are. The factors that are most important in the relationships between health and welfare are multiple and they themselves interact. The scientific method that deals with 'this complexity is the systems approach. It is the necessary complement to the search for single drug interventions and it is sorely needed in today's aging societies. It respects the system as a whole, whether that system is the human body, or human society. It searches for the range of conditions that will keep us healthy. The authors have written a book that should be widely read by politicians, economists, health providers, financiers, medical researchers - in fact anyone who wishes to reconcile our economic and health priorities. The current pandemic is a wake-up call. Here is the reading that responds to that call.'
Denis Noble, Emeritus Professor, University of Oxford and author of Dance to the Tune of Life

'Saving Sick Britain is an excellent and timely book. Part manifesto, part popular science, its real importance lies in its bold and broad view of health and how all of a polity's public policy should, ultimately, be directed towards the 'health' of the population. This involves a redefinition of 'health', that directs much more focus, appropriately and importantly, to the kinds of policy interventions that would best prevent, rather than merely treat, disease, especially 'the modern plagues of diabetes, depression, heart disease and cancer'. In elegant prose and evidence-led argument, Yuille and Ollier clamour for radical, worthwhile change. Listen! What they propose is most applicable to affluent societies like Britain, but its lessons can be applied to most other parts of the world, bar the extremely impoverished. It should therefore be read by everyone, but especially anyone with an interest or occupation in public policy, health or government.'
Lawrence Hamilton, Professor of Political Theory, University of Cambridge

'This is an important contribution to one of the most vital issues of our time: how health should be a first order priority for government and society. By rethinking the role of the state and how we should reconceptualise health, it offers a deep reflection on the purpose of politics and the need for a new guiding idea to meet people's needs in the 21st Century.'
Benedict Macon-Cooney, Head of the Science & Innovation unit, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements

Introduction: the heart of the matter

Part I
1 Words about words
2 The modern plagues
3 Sorrows in battalions
4 Your loss is my loss: we all lose
5 Deckchairs on the Titantic

Part II
6 The appliance of science
7 When things start to go wrong
8 Knowing the unknown
9 Risks that we can change

Part III
10 Biological relativity
11 Natural prevention
12 Health is what we need

Part IV
13 Thinking outside the box
14 The road to recovery
15 Community change
16 The tools for the job
17 Your health is my health
18 Postscript: the COVID-19 pandemic

Notes
Suggested reading
Index

Authors

Martin Yuille is Honorary Reader and former Co-Director of the Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research in the Institute of Population Health at the University of Manchester.

Bill Ollier is Emeritus Professor of Immunogenetics at the University of Manchester and Professor of Healthcare Science at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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