The Best Intentions?

John Reid, Trevor Phillips


The NHS has always depended on diversity, yet it has not dealt successfully with diversity itself. Britain’s leading health and race policymakers set out an agenda for change.

The National Health Service – the most cherished of British public institutions – has always depended on diversity. Without the contribution of immigrant doctors, nurses and other health service workers, it would not have been possible for the NHS to have become an important symbol of the meaning of fairness and equality in modern Britain.

Despite this, the NHS has not itself dealt successfully with the increasingly socially and culturally diverse Britain which it serves. Health inequalities have affected many black and Asian Britons, particularly in areas like mental health.

In this pamphlet,Britain’s leading policymakers on health and race issues ask how the NHS should respond. They set out what new thinking on the most effective ways of tackling institutional racism and ensuring genuine equity in healthcare should mean for the future of the NHS. They challenge the idea that uniformity of provision will guarantee equity – and argue that greater choice and more power for patients will be essential to delivering healthcare that is fair, and seen to be fair, in today’s Britain.

You can buy a printed copy edition of The Best Intentions: Race, equity and delivering today’s NHS for £6.95, plus £1 p+p, by phoning the Fabian Society bookshop on 020 7227 4900, emailing us at [email protected] or send a cheque payable to “The Fabian Society” to 11 Dartmouth Street, London, SW1H 9BN.