Edited by Adam and Paul Staten
Published by Elsevier (August 2019)
Considering there are so many GPs in the UK, there is a not such a large selection of practical books specific to primary care to help and support GPs and associated staff at the coalface. However, this book is certainly one to consider and it does exactly what the title says. This is no easy feat, as primary care requires a huge depth of knowledge over a substantial topic area and all help is genuinely appreciated. I have used previous editions of this excellent book before and I am delighted to see it has moved with the times. This new edition covers a huge array of topics at the right level and depth to help a frontline GP and other primary care clinical staff to deal with day to day clinical problems.
Both the editors are GPs in the UK and so are well versed in the huge mounds of knowledge GPs need to be conversant with. They have done the hard work and distilled down the colossal volumes of information, guidelines and evidence base out there and digested it into basic and easy to understand bullet points (which can be short paragraphs) or numbered points.
Topics are covered in a short and concise manner, and the language is very much to the point and very readable. It is clearly written for an audience likely to deal with patients. This could include GP registrars learning the primary care perspective for the first time, experienced GPs wanting an up to date refresh or other healthcare professionals such as nurse practitioners or pharmacists who work at the primary care coalface. There are plenty of guidelines quoted which underpin the text and this is coupled with appropriate patient information boxes. Equally there are plenty of references if the reader wants to look further.
Again, going back to the title, this book deals with practical issues that can sometimes cause primary care clinicians some difficulties. A good example of this is on page 350 where there is an excellent section on non-visible haematuria. A guideline is quoted and a bullet point article gives valuable advice, written with clarity and covers the important points. This is typical what is found throughout the book and I am sure this book deserves to be popular with large numbers of primary care clinicians.
Although it comes in just under 560 pages and cannot be comprehensive (it would be very difficult for any book to have comprehensive coverage of primary care), it certainly covers a lot of ground in a succinct and readable manner. The 33 appendixes at the back also cover a good range of useful topics relevant to front line care.
Even better, bundled with the cost of the book, comes a web based and app version, the latter comes in at a very economical download of just 34.5MB. This includes the appendices and I have downloaded it onto my iPhone. The web based version is easy to use and follows the successful template of the publisher’s on line offerings and so is a mature and tried and tested method.
Overall, this is an outstanding book now in a 7th edition written specifically for primary care in the UK. I am sure most GPs would appreciate access as would other members of the clinical primary care workforce. It represents excellent value for money, and it deserves to do well.
Dr Harry Brown