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B C Dimond. (Pp 496; paperback; £29.50.) Oxford: Blackwell Science, 1999. ISBN 0–632–05108–6.
My first thought on receiving this book for review was “Oh good a new doorstop!” My second was “Imagine the medico-legal nightmare one would have to be in to wade through 496 pages!”
First impressions, however, are not always accurate. Closer examination reveals a book not just to turn to in times of strife, but one which could be instrumental in helping to avoid it.
The author writes clearly and concisely, from the list of abbreviations at the beginning to the glossary of legal terminology at the end, taking great care to produce understandable and readable text.
The book is divided into five distinct parts, each dealing with a different aspect of how the law relates to day to day physiotherapy practice.
It begins with education registration and professional conduct: a good basic guide for undergraduates and newly qualified physiotherapists of the statutory regulations of state registration and professional discipline.
Vital information on “client's” (I think that means patient's!) rights, confidentiality, consent, and access to records is provided in the second section.
Record keeping and health and safety are among the issues covered in section 3, with good examples of how inadequate records and procedures can easily lead to serious problems.
Parts 4 and 5 address management, both NHS and private practice, and specialist client groups. Both sections are divided into short easy to read sections.
In conclusion, a good reference book containing easy to find advice on many professional issues. If I do use it as a doorstop, it will only be to make sure it is always within easy reach!