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Zero

Jeremy Hunt

How many avoidable deaths are there in the NHS every week?

150.

What figure should we aim for?

Zero.

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.

Hardback

ISBN: 9781800751224

Published: May 24, 2022

Paperback

ISBN: 9781800751255

Published: February 2, 2023

Ebook

ISBN: 9781800751231

Published: May 24, 2022

Category:
Non-fiction

Reviews 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

‘A very powerful and well-written book, it is also tackling a topic weirdly neglected in healthcare’ – Isabel Hardman, The iPaper

‘A thoughtful, serious and well-written book that tackles an immensely important subject‘ – Rachel Clarke, The Guardian

‘Approach is humane … often persuasive‘ – Charles Moore, The Telegraph

Good new book examining unnecessary deaths in the NHS’ – Charles Moore, The Spectator

Thoughtful‘ – Anoosh Chakelian, New Statesman

Zero is as honest a political book as you’re likely to read … deeply heartening‘ – Matt Nixson, The Express

‘There is much to recommend about Zero … it’s undeniable that he genuinely cares about patients and is committed to moving the dial … very helpful reading for any hospital manager: lessons can be learnt and lives can be saved’ – Adam Kay, The Times

Well-informed, well-meaning book’ – Andrew Gimson, Conservative Home

‘A natural storyteller with an eye for the poignant detail … An impressive and readable account’ – Sarah Neville, Financial Times

‘I was so hooked that I finished it within 24 hours’ – Alexandra Dao, Country & Town House

Author

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt was elected Conservative MP for South West Surrey in 2005. He was first appointed Secretary of State for Health in September 2012, and then served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 9th July 2018 to 24th July 2019. Before his election as an MP, Jeremy ran his own educational publishing business, Hotcourses. He also set up a charity to help AIDS orphans in Africa in which he continues to play an active role. Jeremy lives in Godalming and London with his wife, son and two daughters.