This is a unique story. It is the story of a doctor and the many patients she sees every day. A tale of the diversity of life, the uniqueness of individuals and the impact of deprivation on the health of society.
It is a book about being human, the challenge of being on the front line, trying to heal with kindness while fighting an inexorably rising tide of need. The crisis in general practice is in its ascendancy. Overworked GPs are burning out and leaving in droves. At the heart of the NHS, GPs are the entry point for healthcare in the UK, the champions of patients and guardians of the gates to specialists. A role that is essential, but not always understood or appreciated.
We will all meet disease and death in our journey through life. We will all meet a GP, need a GP. The Heart of the Matter is the story of a single day in the life of a general practitioner working in the UK today.
Kas Hawes has been a GP in the Northeast of England for the last sixteen years. Before she moved to the Northeast she lived a nomadic life, spending most of her childhood in Nepal and India where her parents worked as doctors. She returned to the UK for her A Levels and completed her medical training at the University of Manchester.
Matthew Sawyer (Guest Review) - 29 Oct, 2023
General practice is the place where doctors and patients first meet, where diagnoses are made, treatments arranged - and long term relationships develop between doctors, and patients and their families. Understanding the complexity of people and their problems that are seen on a daily basis can be hard. But that is where this book excels. It lifts the lid on the oft misunderstood world of general practice - and shows - warts and all - what lies beneath. The beauty and wonder of the patients, their attitudes and approaches, their complaints and compliments, their trials and tribulations and how the importance of having (or being) a good doctor and their team can make all the difference.
The book, weaving through the consultations from a single day, is written for patients and practitioners alike and gives a well rounded explanation of the realities of providing general practice in the 2020s. From the underlying poverty and inequality to issues with funding, workload and staffing to glimpsing the wide variety of health issues people attend with covering from (almost) cradle to (almost) grave.
Packed with useful information and health links for patients as well as self reflective 'afterthoughts' for doctors asking 'could i do anything better next time?' and extra titbits of useful knowledge to navigate similar cases.
In short, an honest and inspiring read and highly recommended for all healthcare staff, patients, members of the public, doctors in training, and all others including politicians...
Barbara Scott Emmett (Guest Review) - 20 Nov, 2023
This book astonished me when I first read it. I already knew doctors were overworked but I had no idea the situation was so bad. I felt exhausted just reading about the number of tasks that a GP needed to perform every day.
I am a strong supporter of the NHS - it's keeping me alive right now - but something must be done to prevent the burnout of our medical staff. More money is needed from the government and more involvement of the grass roots is necessary in the use of that money.
This book should be required reading for all politicians.