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Towards the Emancipation of Patients: Patients' Experiences and the Patient Movement

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Title: Towards the Emancipation of Patients: Patients’ Experiences and the Patient Movement

Author: Charlotte Williamson

Publisher: The Policy Press, 2010

Reviewer: Adam Fitzgerald, staff nurse

What was it like?

Towards the Emancipation of Patients: Patients’ Experiences and the Patient Movement is an in-depth insight into the patient movement and how the health services have adjusted (or attempted) to adjust to patient choice.


What were the highlights? 

Charlotte Williamson presents a compelling read. As an OBE and an ex vice-chair of York Health Authority, she is able to present information that is interesting to  a lay person to read it with an interest in patient rights, but also  provides empirical and scholarly evidence for those reading for professional reasons.

Strengths & weaknesses:

One of the main strengths of this book is the sheer amount of evidence and studies referenced within the book. In addition there is a brilliant reference section and glossary that you can read further to understand some of the more complex terms. As the book is on quite an in-depth and complex subject, the author effectively breaks down the book into manageable chapters. Each chapter begins with a quote relating to its content and appears to sum up what the author is aiming to say within the chapter. Although even by the author’s own admission she compares the power gap between medical professionals and patients. She believes that at ground level  health professionals give patients the options however, she contends this is still limited by organisational limitations. Williamson also notes the use of (sometimes radical) patient groups to change this.

Who should read it?

Although this book could be read by a lay person, I feel that it would have to be someone that has a large interest in the patient movement because it is informative but sometimes hard to digest. I would suggest those involved with strategic choices and ward/practice managers would get the most use of this book.

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