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360 degrees of spin


Blog headlines

  • New redeployment service offers talent pool of motivated, work-ready individuals
    15 October 2020

    People 1st International have shared some of the work they are doing to support people displaced from industries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is an opportunity for health and care services to benefit from this workforce.

  • Link of the week
    9 October 2020

    Article published in the BMJ looking at the ability of the health service to quickly bounce back to pre-Covid levels of activity and considers if it is desirable.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    2 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    1 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article - Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective.

  • Celebrating innovation in eye research
    24 September 2020

    This week Julian Jackson from VisionBridge has shared a report on eye research.

  • Link of the week: Comprehensive Spending Review and Covid-19
    24 September 2020

    This week we are sharing a blog that outlines the funding pressures and uncertainties faced by the health and care system

  • Risk stratifying elective care patients
    10 September 2020

    This blog has been shared by MBI healthcare technologies. As services are starting to treat routine patients those on waiting lists are making enquiries as to where they are on the list, and if they are still on the list.

  • Link of the week
    4 September 2020

    This week the link we would like to share are reflections from physiotherapy students on placement at Alzheimer Scotland https://letstalkaboutdementia.wordpress.com/

  • Link of the week
    28 August 2020

    This week we would like to share a blog published on the Mind website about being a BAME health worker in the pandemic.

  • Remote clinical triage model
    20 August 2020

    This week we are sharing how a remote clinical triage model was implemented at Tollgate Medical Centre. This has been shared with us by Sarah Portway, a Nurse, and Clinical Services Manager at Tollgate Medical Centre.

  • Can the Community Pharmacy become the gateway to integrated care in the NHS?
    13 August 2020

    The NHS is a continually evolving innovative demand led public service the role of the Community Pharmacist is becoming the public face on a journey to the more responsible public engagement in the personal care of individuals and their family. There are currently over 11000 Pharmacies many are single or small chain service providers, while multiples occupy the urban shopping centres and more densely populated conurbations, the value of the rural High Street can’t be understated.

  • Crunch time for patient involvement
    7 August 2020

    There are new challenges for primary care, which could really do with patient input. Mike Etkind, chair of a PPG and founding member of his PCN’s patient group, recognises the size of the task clinical directors have managed over the last few months but identifies two particular issues where patients have a necessary and valuable contribution, that need to be addressed now – the 2020 vaccination programme and primary care from a distance- total triage, remote consultations, and the use of telemedicine.

  • Link of the week - Visionbridge
    31 July 2020

    The link we are sharing this week was submitted by Julian Jackson, Visionbridge.

  • Links of the week
    23 July 2020

    This week we are sharing two articles with you.

  • Link of the week
    21 July 2020

    The blog is from the perspective of the Company Chemist Association's Chief Executive Malcolm Harrison.

  • Link of the week
    9 July 2020

    This week we are sharing a blog from the NHS Confederation’s “NHS Reset” looking at the work of Healthwatch, the role of volunteers in supporting patients being discharged from hospital and the importance of the community.

  • Virtual education sessions on spinal cord injury from Spinal Injuries Association
    2 July 2020

    This week Karen Mikalsen from the Spinal Injuries Association shares some information on their work and events for healthcare professionals.

  • Guest blog:Karen Chumley
    25 June 2020

    Thank you to Karen Chumley for a second blog –this time on the local use of an Electronic Palliative Care Coordination system during the Covid-19 pandemic. Karen is the Clinical Director and Deputy CEO at St Helena.

  • Link of the week
    19 June 2020

    This week's link of the week is article by Yasmin Khanagha published in Nursing Times – Why we need to open the conversation about racism.

  • Guest blog: Dr Karen Chumbley
    12 June 2020

    This week we have a guest blog submitted by Dr Karen Chumbley, clinical director and deputy chief executive at St Helena (https://www.sthelena.org.uk/)

Thursday, 16 March 2017

360 degrees of spin

The results of the NHS Blithering annual staff survey are in. Martin Plackard, director of stakeholder nurturement and realtime feedback has written to staff to present the findings.

Dear colleague

As you know, every year we send out a questionnaire seeking your views on the state of NHS Blithering. The results tell you how well we’re doing and how positive you should feel.

This year, as usual, the survey shows we are doing brilliantly despite a lot of pressures and demands, none of which are our fault.

So by way of a “thank you” to staff for helping us to show how fabulously it’s all going, here is a summary of the key findings.

Great care for all

Overall we saw a four-fold improvement on last year after seasonally adjusting the baseline to the sector average for an organisation of comparable demographics and applying the deflator.

More than two-thirds of you (11%) would be happy to recommend the care provided by your organisation to a friend or member of your family. Only a tiny minority (89%) said they would be “deeply worried” or that they “wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy”.

Thumbs-up for senior management

How well do senior managers engage with staff? Do they clearly communicate the mission and purpose of the organisation? Do staff know the names of the people in charge? Does the board promote a compassionate and open culture? Do managers listen to the views of staff? Does anyone check the extravagant claims on directors’ CVs before appointing them?

Most respondents (87%) agreed that senior managers either already do or should aim to do one or more of these things at some point in the not-too-distant future. A further 45% thought senior managers did a very difficult job or should occasionally try to do one.

The survey provides a ringing endorsement of Blithering’s leadership. There was unanimous agreement with the statement “I have complete confidence in our leaders” once the results had been adjusted to discount the views of non-board members.  

Results you can trust

Asked how they feel about the positive gloss put on the staff survey every year, almost everyone (2%) said they found it “not at all” or “just a bit” patronising. A statistically insignificant minority (98%) responded “pull the other one” or “I wasn’t born yesterday”, indicating mild disagreement.

As in previous years, the survey was conducted by a reputable and completely independent polling company to avoid accusations of bias. The full results can be found on the Ipsos Rummage website.  

Telling you what you want to hear

We work closely with the experts at Ipsos Rummage to ensure that the survey tells you exactly what we want you to hear, however uncomfortably that may sit with the data.

Unfortunately, while we always publish a summary of the results together with detailed explanatory notes for journalists, the press cannot always be relied upon to report the survey accurately.

References in certain corners of the press to “blatant spin” are a gross misrepresentation of our robust, evidence-like 360 degree process.

Much progress, some way still to go

Don’t let the fake news printed by the Argus and others cloud your judgement. Here are the hard facts.

For the seventh year in succession, Blithering has:

  • Demonstrated very significant progress
  • Identified that it still has some way to go
  • Made very real and tangible pledges to improvement (the Blithering Charter)
  • Renewed Ipsos Rummage’s contract for a further 12 months.

Not a tick-box exercise

I’ll leave you with one more inspirational finding from this year, which is that staff are more positive than ever about the future.

Asked: “Are you more positive than ever about the future?” all respondents (110%) replied “yes”. Tellingly, no one ticked the alternative response: “I wish to take unpaid leave to deal with my negative and unhelpful attitudes”.

That says more about the spirit of Blithering staff than I ever could.

Yours faithfully


Editor: Julian Patterson


Andrew Rix
Andrew Rix says:
Mar 17, 2017 05:38 AM

Staff survey

As a qualified market researcher (fruit and veg division) I was pleased that you had picked up on the Cuba effect. This is best described as the tendency for one party states to rely on the turnout, rather than the actual result, to justify their, usually unpublished, manifesto for action.

It is a reasonable statistical assumption that where ‘All Respondents’ is = to or > than the number of those registered to vote, a small number of people are so enamoured of the regime and all its policies that the have gone to great lengths to vote for it more than once. While this behaviour is clearly illegal, it is also a form of plebiscitary flattery, which, along with other acts of appreciation, such as the payment of ‘extras’ into Swiss bank accounts, has helped to preserve our longest running form of government.

Churchill is alleged to have remarked after his defeat in the post-war election ‘ungrateful buggers; there's got to be a better system than this ... despotism may have its problems but it's the future' - thereby predicting Trump’s 2017 accession to the presidency of the USofA only a few weeks after his birth in 1946.

Your excellent report on the staff survey is further proof that democracy and participation are but short-lived fads and what employees want is a return to the world where people know their place, believe what they are told and vote as often as possible for more of the same.

Anonymous says:
Mar 17, 2017 07:54 AM

Thanks Julian, one of your best yet.

Harry Longman
Harry Longman says:
Mar 17, 2017 08:45 AM

The @jtweeterson oeuvre continues. Long may it endure after all the output of all the NHS organisations in the universe has returned to intergalactic dust.

Mark Lainchbury
Mark Lainchbury says:
Mar 17, 2017 10:18 AM

Very Very Funny