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Staying Alive: How to Get the Best From the NHS

Phil Hammond

3 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, Family & health, Self-help & personal development

Dr Phil's most up-to-date advice on how to get the most out of the health service for optimum health


In this committed and compassionate book, Phil Hammond - a doctor, journalist, campaigner and patient - argues for a bidet revolution in the NHS - from the bottom up, with patients leading the charge. What we can do for ourselves to live well often far outweighs what modern medicine and the NHS can do for us. And when we do need to use the NHS, getting involved, speaking up and sharing our expertise can improve not just our care, but the care of others. We won't always succeed, but we can learn from failure as we try to get the best care possible in our precious and precarious health service.
Dr Phil shares his own experiences of working in and investigating the NHS for 30 years, and combines it with the testimony and tactics of inspirational patients and carers. Some have survived and thrived in the NHS, some are planning a gentle death at home, and some have suffered greatly but are determined to improve the NHS so others don't have to.

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Praise for Staying Alive: How to Get the Best From the NHS

  • Want to get the best from the NHS? How many strong, independent adults turn to shy, tongue-tied patients, and don't ask questions for fear of seeming presumptuous. I did when my kids were ill - and I'm a doctor! Now Dr Phil Hammond has written a fabulous practical guide in his book Staying Alive - how to get the best from the NHS. Like me, he loves the NHS - but he knows we all need some help to navigate our way through it. - Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP, writer and doctor for The One Show and

  • If you use the NHS (i.e. all of you), you MUST read this book. If you're a doctor you NEED to read this book. If you're an NHS manager this book is VITAL. - Dr Chris Steele, GP and doctor for ITV's This Morning

  • This is a fantastic book about how to live well. Phil Hammond's goes beyond the usual tips about diet and exercise - we hear about the power of positive thinking, as well as how to get the best out of the health service. And this book is packed with real stories - from people who have become survival experts through their own experiences. Their stories are heartwarming, enlightening and useful. Phil Hammond has a knack of being brutally honest and very funny at the same time. This is quite simply the most useful book about health and the health service that I've ever read. - Alice Roberts

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Phil Hammond

Phil Hammond is an NHS doctor, journalist, broadcaster and comedian. Phil has worked in general practice for over twenty years, and has also worked in sexual health. He currently works in a specialist NHS team for young people with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME. Phil presented five series of Trust Me, I'm a Doctor on BBC2, encouraging patients to be more involved, assertive and questioning, and has been a presenter for BBC Radio Bristol since 2007. He has been Private Eye's medical correspondent since 1992, and appears regularly on national radio and television speaking up for patient power and a more honest and transparent NHS. This is his fifth book.

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