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Snakes and Ladders

15th April 2006

15052006_NHS_Snakes_and_Ladders1Q.jpg'Your son has cystic fibrosis.' The doctor said the words again, clearly expecting some kind of response. Susan stared at him, all too clear what it meant now. All she could say was 'He can't have it. Not that!.' The doctor interrupted, avoiding her eyes and looking down at Daniel's notes. 'I'm very sorry, Mrs Johnson, but I'm afraid he does.'

"The NHS Experience" is an accessible and engaging guide for all those journeying through the NHS, whether as patients, carers or professionals. It draws on the experience of staff and families at Great Ormond Street Hospital to provide good practice guidance for both users and providers of health care. This unique book is based on the successful "Snakes and Ladders" drama programme developed at Great Ormond Street Hospital. It uses the story of Daniel, a fictional child with the life-limiting disease cystic fibrosis, to provide insight into the enormous challenges faced by patients, their families and the professionals involved in their care.

Asking difficult questions about how we can improve the NHS experience for everyone at the front line, Daniel's story builds on information from a wealth of sources to highlight: the practical, ethical, resource and financial dilemmas integral to the NHS; the vital issues around communication, trust, management of clinical errors, consent, shared decision-making and bereavement; and the realities of fragmented care, bed shortages, uncertain diagnoses, and complex and difficult treatment choices.

This is a book that should be read by all healthcare professionals and everyone who needs to use the NHS.

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