The Blue Book
Published 2016 (4th edition)
Chief Editor Mike Sharland
Published by Oxford University Press
I had not come across this book before which is a great shame because it is superb. The book is aimed at those who specialise in children’s diseases and often that applies to secondary care. However, I think a lot of GPs will appreciate this offering as dealing with paediatric infectious disease is bread and butter stuff.
Although described as a manual, it is an excellent in depth and highly readable review which runs to 990 pages including the index. There is an impressive array of global contributors with a strong contribution from the UK and Europe and this reflects in the quality of the text which covers its subject matter in an authoritative and scholarly manner. Yet is very readable and practical book, delivering the knowledge in digestible and easy to read chunks. The text is broken up into small sections with a liberal use of bullet points, there is the odd diagram and figure but primarily this is a knowledge based text resource.
As a GP I found this book excellent and I made a point of reading it when I came across relevant clinical cases in my practice. Paediatric infectious disease is bread and butter primary care and there is plenty here to assist primary care staff. Yet it is comprehensive enough to be very useful for secondary care staff and provide informative extra reading for primary care.
Just like its cousins in the Oxford Medical Handbook series, it is full of practical and helpful advice, to help manage a patient with a specific issue. As well as being of a great assistance in managing that patient’s problems, it also provides intellectual satisfaction for the healthcare professional and makes the job more interesting. Although there is good detail here, the information presented is distilled down to what is actually required.
I was very impressed by this book, the content is superb, and it is well written and is ideal for a number of health care professionals. It is pitched just at the right level being both of practical use to manage a specific situation whilst doubling up as a trusted reference source. It is also excellent value for money. The only gripe I can think of, is that there is no electronic version bundled with the book. However overall, this is an excellent book and deserves a wide audience.
Dr Harry Brown