1st Edition

The NHS Experience The 'Snakes and Ladders' Guide for Patients and Professionals

By Hilary Cass Copyright 2006
    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    The NHS Experience is an accessible and engaging guide for all those journeying through the NHS, whether as patients, carers or professionals. It draws on the experience of staff and families at Great Ormond Street Hospital to provide good practice guidance for both users and providers of health care.

    Based on the successful Snakes and Ladders drama programme developed at Great Ormond Street Hospital, this unique book uses the story of Daniel, a fictional child with the life-limiting disease cystic fibrosis, to provide insight into the enormous challenges faced by patients, their families and the professionals involved in their care.

    Asking difficult questions about how we can improve the NHS experience for everyone at the front line, Daniel’s story builds on information from a wealth of sources to highlight:

    • the practical, ethical, resource and financial dilemmas integral to the NHS
    • the vital issues around communication, trust, management of clinical errors, consent, shared decision-making and bereavement
    • the realities of fragmented care, bed shortages, uncertain diagnoses, and complex and difficult treatment choices.

    This is a book that should be read by all healthcare professionals and everyone who uses the NHS.

    1. Beginnings  2. It’s Not What You Say: The diagnosis  3. Home and Away: Sharing Care  4. No Room at the Inn  5. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word  6. Testing Times  7. Hard Graft: Transplant Decisions  8. Endings


    Dr Hilary Cass is a consultant paediatrician, specialising in the care of children with disabilities. She is Associate Medical Director at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she is in charge of medical and multi-professional education, and is also Professor of Children’s Healthcare Development at London South Bank University. She is passionate about helping the next generation of healthcare professionals to provide better patient-centred care.

    ‘A relevant and compelling book, accessible to professionals and laypeople alike…an invaluable and excellent guide to using the NHS.’ - Leyla Sanai, The Lancet

    ‘This book is one of the most stunning I have come across in many years. The author has captured very well indeed the complexities, nuances and sometimes arcane nature of interactions in our National Health Service. The style is such that all of us can learn from the scenarios and events she describes.’ - Peter Hill, Postgraduate Dean and Director, the Northern Deanery

    ‘This book illustrates the patients' journey as it really is - but it also offers positive messages about mediating difference; about enabling and encouraging families and young people facing difficult decisions and about the reality (and successes) of joint working. It should be read by practitioners, professionals and managers - and by families and their support groups.’ - Philippa Russell, Disability Rights Commissioner, Disability Policy Adviser, National Children’s Bureau

    'Hilary Cass has written a remarkable book to show, not tell, how and why patient-centred care is so important - and so hard to achieve...[This book] should be required reading for Foundation Programme trainees, and would make a splendid gift for young people considering a career in medicine.' - Elisabeth Paice, London Deanery

    'An all round interesting read...it gives insight into how small changes to our own communication skills can make major improvements to the management of patients under our care.' - Archives of Disease in Childhood