What people have said about Practice Matters.


"this book must surely be the “jewel in the crown” of all such books written previously on general practice."

Dr Michael Dixon on Amazon

A most enjoyable thought provoking read.

"From start to finish this is an excellent book. The book gives an insight into the life of a GP working in General Practice. The book goes a long way in giving information that could be used in today's NHS."

Julie on Amazon.com  April 2017.

On the cover:

"I have known Andrew Willis for some 25 years, during which I have learnt much from him, engaging in discussion and debate about health care and in particular the subject of this book – UK general medical practice.


I can think of no one better qualified to write about the past, present, and future of what has been described as the soul of a proper, community orientated, health-preserving care system."


Professor David .OBE, retired GP and former National Clinical Director for Primary Care at the Department of Health.  Feb 2017Colin-Thomé

On the cover:

"Practice Matters is about journeys, fabulous journeys; the journeys of a man, family man and family doctor, but also the journey of a general practice, general practice as a whole, and society.


Most of all, it is an invigorating journey for the reader through the memoirs of a much-loved GP fused with unique, insightful understanding of general practice, and seismic shifts in the NHS over recent decades."


Professor Simon Gregory, GP and Regional Director and Dean of Education and Quality, Midlands and East, Health Education England. Feb 2017. 

Readable, informative and such fun!

"This is an excellent and very readable book which would appeal to both those who have an inside knowledge of the NHS and those who have been grateful recipients of the service over many years.


This book is written with humour – and let's face it there are times when dealing with the NHS requires humour - but what makes this book so readable and informative is the way the author, a recently retired and hugely respected GP amongst other medical roles, traces the challenges, setbacks, and advances in his own General practice and link these to the development of the NHS nationally.


I thoroughly recommend the book as a must read to anyone who is grateful for, or enquiring about, how health care got to where it is today."


Scribbling Lady on Amazon.co.uk  July 2017.

Well written

"A readable book."


Anon on Amazon.co.uk  July 2017.

A bright and lively narrative of the National Health Service - only acceptable outcome is a happy ending.

"The direction and scope of present-day National Health Services is an area of considerable interest to not only those within, but also to us users without. It is thus hugely pertinent to read an up to date view of the NHS machinations, past present and future, from one so passionately concerned about (obviously) the future!
The British public and the author of this book remain honourably in love with the NHS, but
not it seems, the government, whose representatives continue, we are told, to ignore the values that make the Service so special and the envy of much of the free world. Sadly, it seems to this reader, that the NHS appears to be the patient and, clearly and seriously, that patient is close to flatlining.
Answers to fundamental solution questions, and
more besides are covered in this most excellent of narratives; by generating and recounting inside knowledge of past and recent developments in the NHS, and in particular its core, general practice. It is factual and relevant, never dull and frequently dotted with amusing reminders and accounts.

This is a life’s story of a genuinely modern day equivalent of Dr Pickles, not about his duties upon the moors of Yorkshire but upon the highways and byways of the modern British health service, warts and all. These are the memoirs of a GP who cannot help but remain passionate about the NHS."

Michael on Amazon.co.uk  Aug 2017.

I really enjoyed this work.

"This original and engaging memoir summarises the experiences of a General Practitioner as he navigates the route from medical student to experienced practitioner. It covers a period of huge change over four decades, in the NHS generally, but in the role of and expectations upon the GP in particular.


Although the work is strongly influenced by the author’s personal experience and opinions, it successfully achieves a balanced analysis of the key significant changes and their effect on patients and staff.


I really enjoyed this work. Earnest expositions of serious subjects by experienced experts in their field can easily become heavy and even dry. On the contrary, in ‘Practice Matters’, the author has addressed some of the most important issues in the development of our health service, with amusing anecdotes and an enviable ‘lightness of touch’, so engaging the reader’s interest from start to finish.


I heartily recommend this book. It is a thought-provoking and amusing read, and an important contribution to the ongoing debate about the development of the NHS."

Dr Phil Ellender on Amazon.co.uk.  September 2017.

General Practice - the way forward?

"For the layman, perennially confused by the complexities of NHS funding, periodic structural, and the political mud-slinging that accompanies any debate on the NHS, Practice Matters is a welcome addition to our understanding of this peculiarly British institution.


It should also be prescribed reading for the politicians.


Andrew Willis is a former GP whose innovative management of a Northamptonshire practice, reinforced by his involvement in various national programmes and commissions, is in itself a fascinating story but it also provides a number of pointers to policy options for the future of the NHS.

The book is a convincing argument for maintaining the independence of GPs as self- employed contractors to the NHS. If the object is to provide a quality public health service, broadly defined, responsive to the needs of patients, and as close as possible to the point of demand, General Practice, imaginatively interpreted and managed, as it is here presented, must surely be the building blocks upon which that vision can be achieved."


Terence Libby on Amazon.co.uk  September 2017.

Extracts from the book's review: British Journal of General Practice: Oct 2017

"Willis is an optimist, an enthusiast, an apologist. General practice was okay in his world, and getting better. He calls his book a memoir, but the real detail is in organisational history – both nationally and in his own practice."


"Nevertheless, as I read of the innovations in his practice, I regret not having visited Northampton in 1993, when I was writing a series of articles for the British Medical Journal on enriching careers in general practice. Willis and his partners were quick to see the potential of collecting and organising information, whether in card index systems or computers. They improved their premises, recruited nursing staff to take on the routine tasks of chronic disease management, developed a patient participation group, pioneered locality – based commissioning as an alternative to the fundholding system, and piloted computer networks and electronic prescribing."


Stuart Handysides,

Retired GP, Associate Editor, ProMED

A fascinating, accurate and well-written description of the past 40 years of general practice.

"It is also an extremely good read. Andrew Willis describes with humour and empathy the reality of general practice at the frontline and also the big picture of general practice and the health service moving with the times. He is eminently well qualified to do so as an outstanding GP and also someone who has taken a leading role in health service changes, emphasizing the crucial role of general practice and primary care at the centre of the NHS. This linking of everyday general practice with a national perspective on health service reform is unique as indeed is its author, who carried the values and principles of good general practice into his national leadership role, which frequently challenging the status quo for the better.

For anyone wanting to know about general practice over the last 40 years or gain some insight into what general practice actually does, this is the book to read. General practice has been described as the “jewel in the crown” of the NHS and this book must surely be the “jewel in the crown” of all such books written previously on general practice."

Dr Michael Dixon on Amazon.co.uk
Senior Partner Culm Valley Integrated Centre for Health, Cullompton, Devon
Chair College of Medicine