Thursday, 8 July 2010

Sick Notes, Tony Copperfield

A few weeks ago, like other bloggers I was asked to review this book, and having now read it here is my impression.
The best of humour often comes, not from jokes and stories but from simple observation and comment on the frustrations and difficulties that afflict most of us. The things that happen to all of us which are funny, as long as they happen to someone else. This book is full of such humour which brings a wry smile of recognition in the numerous anecdotes which most of us can identify with.
The humour however serves to bring to our attention the sources of these frustrations, the numerous and pervasive intrusions of managers and politicians into clinical medicine. As the author puts it, “rules being made by those in offices who don’t know what they are talking about to enforce on those seeing patients who do.
He makes incisive and accurate observations on appraisal/revalidation, telehealth, referral management and other management inventions which I believe would have the agreement of the majority of doctors in primary and secondary care.
I am a little saddened that he sees hospitals and consultants as the enemy (CBT 2). We have exactly the same frustrations and views for the most part as our primary care colleagues and it is clear that a wedge seems to have been driven between us that should not be there. Our problems are simply a mirror image of theirs.
Although I was offered a free copy of the book to review I chose instead to buy my copy. Among other reasons this I think allows me more impartiality than if I had accepted the gift. The cost of the book was money well spent. This book should be read by doctors , managers and patients, and anyone else who is concerned about the state of our NHS.

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