Despite a policy focus on involving patients in health care and increasing patient autonomy, much covert coercion of patients takes place in everyday healthcare. This book, by a leading patient activist, examines for the first time how the patient movement, which works to improve the quality of healthcare, can actually be considered an emancipation movement when led by its radical elements.
In this highly original book the author argues that radical patient groups and individual activists who repeatedly challenge or oppose some standards in healthcare, can be seen as working in the direction of freeing patients from coercion and from its associated injustice and inequality. Combining new academic theory with rich empirical evidence, the book explains how looking at healthcare from an emancipatory perspective could improve its quality as patients experience it. It will appeal to health professionals, managers, patient activists, policy makers and others concerned with the quality of healthcare.
"The book is an in depth fountain of knowledge for anyone working in the medical sector, for patients themselves and for the people who can help improve the quality of healthcare.... Definitely a must read for anyone interested in the quality of healthcare." Laszlo Igali, Royal College of Pathologists Bulletin
"Charlotte Williamson is exceptionally well qualified to write about radical patients' movements. I hope her book will encourage patient groups to gain new confidence and authority, and healthcare policy makers, managers and practitioners to find new ways of working with patients to improve health services." Professor Priscilla Alderson, Institute of Education, University of London
" Dr Williamson......writes with the assurance and authority of someone with both academic and practical experience, and the book is tightly argued and clearly written. I found it stimulating." Dougal Jeffries in British Journal of General Practice
"Charlotte Williamson is a radical, highly persuasive champion of patients’ interests. Here she describes the rise of the patient movement and with it the emancipation of patients themselves. Scholarly, empathetic and written in plain English, this definitive commentary on patient emancipation is a ‘must have’ for anyone interested in patients and their wellbeing." Sir Donald Irvine, Chairman of Picker Institute Europe and former President of the General Medical Council
"The author is clearly very well informed and a practiced communicator. The book has a clear theoretical thrust and is well-illustrated from personal and researched experiences of the ‘patient movement'." Graham Scambler, Professor of Medical Sociology, Director, Centre for Sociological Theory and Research on Health, UCL Medical School
Charlotte Williamson, OBE, is a patient activist and writer on healthcare issues. She is a trustee of the Picker Institute Europe and was vice-chair of York Health Authority, then Trust, for 15 years. She has an MA in natural science from Oxford and a PhD in social science from York. She was awarded the Humphry Davy medal of the Royal College of Anaesthetists in 2002 and the College medal of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2004.
Introduction; Setting the theoretical scene; The patient movement; Radicalisation; Radical patient activists' new knowledge; Values, principles and standards; The ten principles; Conflict and schism; Allies and antagonists; Achievements and failures; What next?