The NHS is a large and complicated organisation which is poorly understood by most of its users. Doctors and other workers in the NHS spend much time explaining relevant aspects of it to patients and their families. This Guide,1 produced by Consumers’ Association in collaboration with the Patients’ Association, should help patients to get the best from the NHS with the least difficulty. As Katharine Whitehorn writes in the foreword, ‘Informed patients can actually be of huge help to the medical profession and all workers in the Health Service, just because they know what is and isn’t reasonable, don’t expect the moon, and can contribute to their own cure by doing sensible things’.
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