This timely and assured text provides lecturers and students with a well informed, penetrating analysis of the key questions in medicine and society. The book is divided into three sections. It opens with a well judged account of the context of health and illness. It moves on to examine the process and experience of illness. Finally, it examines how health care is negotiated and delivered.

Healthcare Organization

Healthcare organization

Chapter Summary

This chapter describes:

  • how the NHS is worth studying because it:
    • provides universal healthcare at a low cost;
    • is a major employer;
    • is where healthcare providers negotiate their own professional interests;
    • is the market for providers of services, medical technology and pharmaceuticals;
    • is an important symbol of a British way of life to which great loyalty is shown;
  • how the NHS is somewhat unresponsive to patient needs and changes in clinical practice;
  • how reforms that have sought to address this have resulted in a power shift towards general practice and management.

Useful Terms for this Chapter

clinical governance: a systematic approach to maintaining and improving the quality of patient care within the NHS by defining standards and having a system of audit which ...

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