Instead of a foreword in the book a collection of very famous British people were asked for their thoughts on the NHS; the results are as below:
Whatever the criticisms that are levelled against it at home, I find when I travel abroad that the NHS is greatly respected right around the world, both for the standard of its care and for the ideals it embodies.
John Simpson, World Affairs Editor, BBC
The NHS would not have been invented if the calculator had come first.
Thank goodness it didn't.
Jeremy Vine, Current Affairs Presenter, BBC
The NHS is home to some of the world's finest medicine. The United Kingdom punches above its weight in science and innovation. The challenge now is to spread the best that the NHS offers to all.
Our Service aims to provide comprehensive healthcare to all in society and in that respect, it is unique in the western world. Our ability in Britain to address health issues in the round, from preventative medicine through to acute care, affords us a chance to tackle the health inequalities that remain so pronounced and pervasive.
Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer
The creation of the NHS in 1948 was the second major victory for Britain, after the defeat of Nazism. This war-torn nation resurfaced with a humanitarian vision of free health care for all, and as an institution the NHS remains a stunning testimony to human altruism and the principles of a caring, civilized society. Today, the NHS is in dire need of better health care itself, and future governments owe it to our precious creation not just to preserve it but to inject it with all the resources it needs to flourish, grow, and blossom. If we look after it, it looks after us. It should be at the top of our list of priorities in the Chancellor's annual budget, so that we take pride not just in the idea of the NHS, but in its delivery too. Britain has a wealth of medical research expertise to draw on among its scientists, much of it at the forefront internationally, and giving the NHS exciting opportunities to translate such knowledge into first-class clinical care should be any government's perpetual new year's resolution.
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge
An NHS providing a universal health service free at the point of use is worth fighting for. Despite unprecedented levels of investment in the past few years we have a situation where a significant number of hospital trusts and primary care trusts cannot balance their books. We have just two years left before additional investment levels return to more normal levels. As a doctor who has devoted most of his working life to the NHS I don't want us to lose it. The public, the professions and the politicians must have an open debate to thrash out what it takes to save the NHS.
Mr James Johnson, consultant surgeon and chairman of the British Medical Association
The NHS is not only a great Health Service, it is also the embodiment of an attitude towards one's fellow man. The fact that we have it amounts to a communal declaration that this society does care about its citizens and their welfare.
Professor Alexander McCall Smith
The NHS is a great British institution with roots that stretch deep into the modern British psyche. In almost 60 years, it's become part of the fabric of the nation, and those roots have helped it weather storms of relentless reform and droughts of arid uncertainty. Money, however, is only part of the equation. Valuing the vocation of caring, defending the dignity of the sick and improving the patient experience - these are just as important. "I'm a patient, trust me, listen to me, care for and about me". If every NHS health professional could say that that is what they did, what a wonderful testimony to the NHS that would be.
Kevin Shinkwin, a grateful recipient of life-saving neurosurgery and care on the NHS
It's not the Monument, the great, oft blundering, creaking, micro-managed, macro-distained state within a state, which defines the NHS. It's not the political, wheeler-dealing, panic revolutionizing hierarchy of out of depth managers: on a ward one minute, promoted catastrophically the next, leaking budgets and morale and sound innovation through fingers palsied by unanchored responsibilities. It's the people, dammit. The courageous, the kind, the knowledgeable, the patient, the hard working, the dedicated, the unrewarded. They're the NHS. They're its future. They're the hope. Because people rise.
Paul Meloy, Charge Nurse
I have always been a big supporter of the NHS and its future must be planned for.
Lawrie McMenemy, Britain's longest serving football coach