Princes Park Health Centre – the story

Princes Park Health Centre - the story

Fundraiser for a book about the 40-year rise, fall and rise of Princes Park Health Centre in Liverpool.

We are Katy Gardner and Susanna Graham-Jones, former GPs at Princes Park Health Centre in Toxteth, Liverpool 8. We have written a book about the Health Centre, from its creation in 1977 to 2017, and we need your support. We felt this story needed to be told as there is so much to celebrate and to learn. During these 40 years other radical general practices have come and gone, but none have documented their experience in this way. As Dr Michael Ejuoneatse, our former colleague, put it, “I think the NHS is increasingly revisiting the values that were once prioritised at Princes Park Health Centre.” The book will be published online and in print in spring 2021, by Writing on the Wall (www.writingonthewall.org.uk), a Liverpool-based organisation.

The book draws on memories from patients, staff, community members and Liverpool health professionals. It is set in the political context of the time and reflects the turbulent history of the National Health Service over the last 40 years. Princes Park Health Centre was founded by Dr Cyril Taylor, a radical and progressive GP and Labour councillor. Cyril’s approach to the role of GP was strongly influenced by his sense of social justice. The Princes Park Health Centre team put this into practice, pioneering numerous innovations in holistic primary care and health promotion. Dedicated, imaginative staff not only provided exceptional care to the patient population but worked with local organisations and communities to improve the health of people in Liverpool 8. The practice struggled bravely against Thatcherism, maintaining its focus on social justice throughout the 80s and 90s, but this took its toll on those who worked there. The principled decision to become a salaried practice in 1997 was followed by gruelling times, with loss of autonomy and chaotic NHS reorganisations, when many services were privatised. The later sections of the book chart the rebirth of Princes Park Health Centre, acknowledging the vital role played by patients and the local community.

The book will be sold online and in local bookshops, including News from Nowhere, Liverpool’s best radical bookshop. We have put our own money into the project, but we need to raise £3000 to pay Writing on the Wall for printing and layout. We hope you can support us in this exciting adventure.

We hope you can support us in this exciting adventure.

We have set up a GoFundMe page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/princes-park-health-centre-the-story

Katy Gardner and Susanna Graham-Jones, former GPs at Princes Park Health Centre, Liverpool.

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