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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

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on 25 January 2014
Colin explains logically the car-crash that is happening to one our national icons.

With almost religious fervour the politicians and civil servants have performed the age old trick of nursing this organisation to death - doing exactly the wrong things time and time again.

The transformation required takes political honesty and that doest occur in the five year time period of our parliamentary process.

The powerful old blocs of self -interest and the fanatical d-i-y culture need to wake up and read this book.

Well done Colin.
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on 2 April 2017
I was excited to received this book thinking it would provide me with ideas concerning re-inventing NHS, as I am writing my MA dissertation. I could only take everything he said with a pinch of salt, he did not qualify many statements and the reference section at the back was poor. Really disappointed.
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on 18 March 2015
Colin Jervis came up to me on my stand at a recent UK e-Health week show in London, and, to my surprise and delight, very kindly gave me his marvellous book - his last copy apparently. We had been having a conversation on the failings of the NHS, which are admirably covered in the book. Since reading it I recommended it to a well-known TV and media doctor who I had happened to be in correspondence with. The doctor responded that he would have sent me a copy of “Flogging a dead horse”, if he could have found such a thing. Which pretty much makes Colin’s point, especially as the doctor admitted that he lived in the past and even that he didn’t bother to insist that his children wore cycling helmets! Such views are rightly excoriated in “Stop saving the NHS...” and, for my part, find ready parallels in the UK educational sector, with whom I had the misfortune to deal for may years. Same problem; a vast out-of-control bureaucracy intent on serving itself rather than its customers - children in that case, the sick in this.

Colin’s book is a fascinating and easily digestible read and is clearly written by someone who has laboured at the NHS coal face and seen in detail how it operates, particularly with regard to IT. Incidentally Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Health gave an excellent speech at the a/m Health week conference and stated that the only way that the NHS would be affordable in future was through IT. Coin’s recommendations should be gospel for those who wish to try to convert the NHS into an affordable and sustainable entity, able to meet future demands. Even Cuba pays more attention to preventive care than the NHS does, why, because it cannot afford to do anything else. Can we?
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on 16 May 2013
I am not a health expert, but like many people, I am interested in how our NHS is performing. Though this book is aimed at health service managers and the like, as a layperson I found it very readable.

The author's ideas on individual pro-active healthcare as well as integrating healthcare systems with software technologies, is refreshing. He mixes his experience with anecdotes and references to science fiction, keeping the tone light and enjoyable throughout.

This book is well written and filled with some truly unique and interesting insights. Anyone interested in what a 21st century health service could and should be like will enjoy reading this book!
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on 29 April 2013
This new book is an mine of information on how we have the possibility of improving the Healthcare system and the NHS by the appropriate use of IT and computers. It will be a useful source for NHS CEO's, managers and healthcare professionals so that we can learn to live with computers and IT rather than be ruled by them.

In my own experience, saving organisations often involves putting sticking plasters on their 'illnesses'. The title suggests that, just like in my own work on organisation improvement, sometimes a fundamental reinvention is needed. This is often considered too painful for the 'patient' but nearly always results in a worse situation. Blessed are the people who can see far enough into the future to do the right thing rather than the easy thing.

Stop saving the NHS and start reinventing it is a thought-provoking must read for NHS decision makers. STOP in the name of life!

Peter Cook, Business Author and MD Human Dynamics and The Academy of Rock
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on 20 October 2013
The book advocates technological change in the NHS, and is implicitly pro-Health and Social Care Act. However, there is no reason why the technological solutions could also be adopted without privatisation.

There were good ideas in the book: using the genome to develop personal treatments, using RFID chips to make sure patients are properly identified, the use of expert systems in diagnosis and a "Facebook"-like patient record.

However there are also a few "pie in the sky" ideas, such as robots who look after the elderly, and on social media: "...the greater use of social media opens the possibility of customers managing their own illness. My view is the best person to manage your health is you. Fellow suffers (sic)--or ever the worried well--can lend each other support and can share experiences of what has, and what has not, worked for them." On the one hand, such patient networks are supportive, but from reading "Bad Pharma", patient groups can also be manipulated to promote quack-remedies.

Another dubious idea is to administer Cognitive Behaviour Therapy via computer programmes. Jervis does give evidence that they can work, by asking questions such as "What do you mean by?" "Tell me more about...", so therapists could potentially be replaced by "inexpensive" computer systems. However the efficacy of such systems is more contested than the book suggests (see doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-13-113). Common sense also just tells you that speaking to a human rather than a machine is better for someone with complex pyschological problems in need of CBT.

Jervis sometimes uses ideas that do not really support his conclusions, for example by using "Moore's Law" (that references the continual improvements in microprocessors) to suggest that "standardisation" of "processes" will result in ever increasing benefits. A better comparison would be to Adam Smith's "division of labour" increasing productivity. Moore's Law is not achieved through standardisation, but rather ever rising capital investment costs in R&D into new chips.

What Jervis really means with "standardisation" of "processes" is more private sector involvement, who can pick up these standardised procedures. He says this isn't "cherry picking", but making better use of public money. However the gains through the division of labour could work without private sector involvement, which in part negates efficiency savings by its need to make also make a profit out of NHS patients.

What could have been developed is the need to integrate NHS and social care. The book also demands "vision" without really explaining what that "vision" is. Perhaps there are lessons in the government's gov.uk programme, that parachutes technologically-aware civil servants into departments and instead of "vision" uses the open source model of rapid application development and prototypes to see what works early on.
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on 1 June 2013
A compelling review of the opportunities that technology offers the NHS to fundamentally change the way it operates. Written in an easy to read style, liberally sprinkled with Colin's personal anecdotes, I found it both informative and entertaining.

But it's not just about technology. As Colin states "Often the real tension in major health IT projects is not related to technology, patient outcomes or evidence, but to who gains and who loses among the affected power groups."

Perhaps, if enough people read this book, there will be a ground swell of opinion that stimulates radical change before it's too late.
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on 27 April 2013
...literally; IT could be doing a lot more to improve our health. In this easy to read book, Colin Jervis presents a whistle-stop tour of the current state of healthcare IT in the NHS - which by the way isn't great. In many areas Africa are ahead of us. Covering everything from genomics to robotics, big data to social media, this book will bring you up to date on all things digital in healthcare and paints a vision of where we really should be going. A perfect overview for busy managers and clinicians who want to bring themselves up to speed without devouring a weighty tome.
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on 3 June 2013
An increadibly readable book, not full of IT jargon but an expert view of, and insight into, creating health solutions and change through IT. A "MUST READ" for senior managers and non executives who want to make real and lasting change happen.
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on 13 August 2014
An interesting read especially for those in the UK . Glad to have come across this book by Colin- an author who has been a part of the Key Person of Influence process. Darshana | www.darshanaubl.com
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