International Journal of Integrated Care, 1 September 2001 - ISSN 1568-4156
Book review
New face of the NHS
Edited by Peter Spurgeon
London: Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd, 1998, pp 306,
ISBN 0 443 05969 1
Bill Hunter

This book is aimed at anyone who wishes to have an idea of the current status of the NHS and indications about its future development. The extensive changes in the NHS in recent years, and the election a few years ago of the Labour Government, explain why it is in its third edition in seven years.

Used as a reference book it provides an up-to-date survey of the present state of the NHS.

There are seventeen chapters to the book covering the following:

The emphasis on the economic and financial aspects of the NHS is clearly brought out.

It is more a reference book than one that is intended to be read from beginning to end. Indeed the way the book has been put together makes it difficult to read right through.

A different expert has written each chapter. This has its advantages and its disadvantages. Of particular merit is the possibility to read a given chapter and gain a clear understanding of the various elements pertaining to a particular subject. Against this, when reading the book from beginning to end there is a certain amount of duplication and a lack of flow from one chapter to another that can only be resolved by considerable editing.