Book Review

Achieving High Quality Care: Practical Experience from NICEIt is about this time of year that any New Year's resolutions are firmly relegated to the ‘must try harder’ list or ‘better luck next year’ category. I would suggest, however, that the importance of achieving high-quality care is an annual inclusion on any clinician's list of priorities.The twin bed fellows of evidence-based medicine and high-quality patient care are unlikely to command any literary niche, but what gives this book a particular ‘angle’ is that it offers practical guidance for the delivery of both. As well as touting the sterling role played by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in all of this, a number of case studies are presented which outline the steps involved. Not specific to paramedic practice, but many of the principles are transferable nonetheless. And while not of any great depth, the examples from practice are well chosen and provide some perspective on the theory.As with any balanced publication, the authors have identified some challenges in achieving quality improvement. Perhaps I am being a little harsh here but I didn't consider this to be particularly insightful, citing, among other things, a lack of money and other resources as key barriers to overcome. It is still too process-orientated for me, whereas I would like to have read a bit more about cultural issues and nail down further the very raison d'être for us doing what we do. Maybe a touch fanciful given the current age of austerity we currently find ourselves in?‘This couldn't be a more timely publication’All in all, though, this couldn't be a more timely publication. As we creep ever closer to a general election (I'm not standing) and the health care system undoubtedly resumes its customary metaphorical position of a round leather thing kicked between politicians of all parties, allow me to quote directly from the text: ‘Our patients need and deserve the best care.’Now that's one resolution we should all be keeping.

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