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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

The Fighting for the Soul of General Practice

The Algorithm Will See You Now

An argument for attentive and personal care within the bureaucracy of health care systems.

In Fighting for the Soul of General Practice, two practicing doctors share their experiences of working within the underfunded and highly bureaucratic health system in the United Kingdom. Drawing on years of experience treating a wide range of patients from all backgrounds, they show what is lost when regulation overrules relationships, standard practice eliminates discretion, and algorithms displace personal attention. While acknowledging that bureaucracy is inevitable and important, they argue for an approach to medicine that is about creating meaning for doctor and patient and that privileges connection, attention, and care within each encounter.

258 pages | 5 3/4 x 8 1/4

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Table of Contents

Introduction – an analysis of the different aspects of bureaucracy and regulation which influence decision making in general practice.

Poppets and Parcels – healthcare systems are not designed to meet the needs of everyone. This chapter is about a fundamental but undocumented component of general practice - the ‘holding work’ required for patients whose problems can’t be solved in the usual ways, the ones for whom there isn’t a simple answer.
Waiting to Connect – In this chapter, the stories are about flow – the flow of patients through a turbulent, over-stretched system in which access and response are often controlled by algorithm.
Taking Liberties -this chapter examines the role of GPs as agents of social control in the restriction of civil liberties - in the context of the mental health act and of safeguarding.
Guidelines, Tramlines, Mindlines -how guidelines are developed and the difficulties of applying them in the messy world of general practice.
The Elephant in the Room -the stories in this chapter are about biography and biology; about medical categorisation and its effects and shortcomings.
The Bureaucracy of Death - In the realm of death, protocol -which has become the bedrock of clinical practice- is less useful, because the right decisions and the right timing are so individual and nuanced. These stories are about death and bureaucracy.

Conclusion and Afterword

A Labour of Love -a few stories to end, of healthcare enacted with love

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