Reviews

Book review: The State of Medicine: Keeping the promise of the NHS

The State of Medicine

The State of Medicine: Keeping the promise of the NHS

This text reflects on affordable healthcare worldwide, including the precarious state of Obamacare, Donald Trumps inauguration and the rising cost of healthcare.

The text discusses what we are prepared to spend and how we ensure the spend works well but that is not the only narrative. The authors clinical analysis of the NHS connects consumer experience and expectation, staff values and flexibility and political ways in which a healthcare system can be used.

The author believes that the role of the NHS is to represent Britain and is part of its identity. Not much else marks social achievement in the last century quite like the NHS does.

Those working for the NHS might find this book helpful to make sense of an NHS in change.

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The State of Medicine: Keeping the promise of the NHS

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This text reflects on affordable healthcare worldwide, including the precarious state of Obamacare, Donald Trump’s inauguration and the rising cost of healthcare. 

The text discusses what we are prepared to spend and how we ensure the spend works well but that is not the only narrative. The author’s clinical analysis of the NHS connects consumer experience and expectation, staff values and flexibility and political ways in which a healthcare system can be used.

The author believes that the role of the NHS is to represent Britain and is part of its identity. Not much else marks social  achievement in the last century quite like the NHS does.

Those working for the NHS might find this book helpful to make sense of an NHS in change.

While the central thesis is that the NHS is undermined by short-term policy, the analysis of the NHS adaptation to change is far shrewder. What does it mean to say that the NHS should be evidence-based? What are the implications of a digital revolution sweeping through this institution? The author raises these questions. 

The staff of the NHS are ‘human capital’, but what will ensure it survives will in part depend upon our beliefs and a willingness to counter complacent political thought.

Margaret McCartney | Pinter and Martin | 288 pages | £11.99 | ISBN: 9781780664002

Reviewed by Bob Price, healthcare training and practice consultant

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