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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2009
This is a short and quite simple book, I read it in an afternoon. Using the very pithy, simple to understand 'rules of business failure' formulated by a world-beating businessman (former CEO of Coca Cola), the authors take us step-by-step through the almighty failings of a public service that was 're-engineered' to work on business principles.

Of course, running the NHS as a business - or a series of interlinked 'businesses' - was never going to work. But the political masters never had any better ideas, having lost sight of the Welfare State's original aspirations and principles. As a result, the NHS is leaking £billions and, far worse, hundreds of thousands of patients are injured and even killed by these systemic failings. The hundreds of thousands of patients injured (figures from National Patient Safety Agency) by the NHS require costly additional treatment further on down the line.

That's not to say that individuals are at fault (although some are of course). There are many NHS staff who do their best to make things better, but the 'business' model (as applied bullyingly by NHS bosses) simply isn't suited to the provision of a public service whose expenditure and outcomes are so controlled by politicians and their short-termist fads and votecatchers.

Every household in the country needs this book. As a population we need to separate the fact from the aspirational delusion/illusion that we have a 'world-class', 'envy-of-the-world' healthcare system. We do not. Every family has an NHS horror story. We need to wake up and face the problems, as these authors encourage us to do. As they say, only then can we begin to rebuild a much better service together. The remedies are not difficult or unpalatable. In fact, they've rather pleasant: the prescription is to treat human beings - both patients and staff - with respect and honesty, support and trust their judgments, help them to deliver the best care they can and remove all obstacles from patients as they work at healing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2014
I would highly recommend this book. This is the second I have purchased as lent to a friend who never returned.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2010
This is what the government has done to the NHS by using it as a political football. The endless changes have been costly by expanding middle management without any benefit to direct patient care. This book should be read by every politician.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2014
I am not sure if this book just refers to England as this is discussed within the book . The title however says NHS. These are not interchangeable as we have an NHS in Scotland too. This put me off the book. Does one of the authors make the classic mistake of arrogance and complacency by claiming to be an expert on the UK NHS in his biography.
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