“Many of the problems that are encountered in the everyday consultation are diffuse, with important psychosocial components, and are the products of the social contexts in which patients are located. All of these figure prominently in this book, as does the ever growing problem of chronic illness. Measuring the performance of general practitioners figures prominently in some of the activities of the primary care trusts, but not all that can be counted counts, and this is why this book is both interesting and important. Listening to patients and engaging with their affective and social problems remains central to the work on the general practitioner.” Carl May, in the Epilogue “At a time when GPs are concentrating as never before on bio-medical aspects of their work, this book is a very timely reminder of the importance of inter-personal aspects of the care that we provide for patients. Simon Cocksedge argues that listening is work, and he describes the choices that we have during consultations to allow the patient to express their problems, the importance of listening to the development of long term relationships with patients and the importance of ‘being with’ patients during important life experiences.” Martin Roland, in the Foreword ‘This book has arisen from reflections on patients’ everyday stories in my work as a general practitioner. Over several years I have reflected on the mandate that general practitioners are given by society to listen and be available if required. The field of study is the everyday business of being a family doctor and the inter- and intra-personal phenomena that arise as a result.’ Combining analysis of detailed accounts by general practitioners of their everyday work with theoretical argument, this book is an invaluable read for medical professionals in primary care, students of medicine and nursing, GP tutors and all healthcare professionals directly involved with patients.
Introduction. Section 1: Choices in listening. The importance of listening. Choosing to listen. Section 2: Listening work and relationships. Cumulative listening and relationships. Pastoral work in primary care. Holding work – description. Holding work – discussion. Listening work and organisation boundaries. Listening work and interpersonal boundaries. Work and self – boundaries. Work and self - adequacy and sincerity. Listening as work in primary care. Postscript.