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At the watering hole

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Blog headlines

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    The blog this week, by Helen Northall, looks at the changes needed to make integrated care systems a reality.

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  • Enabling Integrated End of Life Care with a population data dashboard
    25 March 2021

    The guest blog this week is by Dr Karen Chumbley MBBS FRCGP MSc, North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance Lead for End of Life Care.

  • The new proposed NHS legislation and where this fits in the jigsaw of changes
    18 March 2021

    In the blog this week William Greenwood, chief executive of Cheshire Local Medical Committee, looks at the implications of the White Paper on general practice.

  • Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all
    11 March 2021

    Professor David Colin-Thomé shares his thoughts on the White Paper in this week’s blog.

  • UK’s National Health Service teams up with the Radio Society of Great Britain to improve health and wellbeing
    4 March 2021

    This week's blog is by Paul Devlin, Emergency Care Improvement Support Team (ECIST), NHS England and NHS Improvement.

  • Structuring a PCN Social Prescribing Service for the post COVID world
    25 February 2021

    This week we have a blog by Nick Sharples.

  • Community-Oriented Integrated Care
    18 February 2021

    The blog this week is a short extract from a paper considering an approach primary care networks could use to move towards community-oriented integrated care.

  • Strategy Unit releases opensource model for planning vaccine centre capacity
    11 February 2021

    This week's blog is from The Strategy Unit who are sharing an opensource model to help with vaccine centre capacity planning.

  • Time to talk day
    4 February 2021

    A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.

  • Supporting Staff: the emergence of ‘long-covid’
    28 January 2021

    As we are now well into a second, or is it now the third, wave of Covid-19 it is becoming apparent that Covid is something we have not experienced before and it has unique implications for staff management. It is not just the possibility that staff may become acutely ill with the virus, but that for some they may go on to develop persistent debilitating symptoms that will affect their ability to go back to work. This article looks at the implications of long-covid for HR and service managers when looking to support health care professionals (HCPs) return to work.

  • Link of the week: Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR)
    21 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a link to the Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR) site that is funded by Health Education England.

  • So much more than an extra pair of hands
    14 January 2021

    The introduction of the additional roles reimbursement scheme for primary care networks has started to grow capacity in general practice to address the unsustainably high workload that has put so much pressure on GPs.

  • Primary Care Networks – how did we get here?
    7 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a blog by PCC’s chairman David Colin-Thomé.

  • A year like no other
    17 December 2020

    On 5 July 1948 the NHS was born, over the last 72 years challenges and changes have been remarkable but the service has probably never been tested as much as in the last nine months. There have previously been numerous re-organisations, multiple changes to hospitals, mental health services and a shift from the family doctor towards more integrated primary care services delivered by a range of professionals. However, rapid transformation of services to embrace digital technologies, and a shift change to work differently has been forced upon all areas of the health service this year.

  • Guest blog: David Hotchin
    11 December 2020

    This week we have a guest blog that was submitted to us by David Hotchin, written by a retired friend....obviously, he's used a little poetic licence.

  • What now for commissioning?
    3 December 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What White people don’t see
    26 November 2020

    This year’s Black History Month (BHM) has, unfortunately, in its shadow another example of why campaigns like this exist.

  • Primary Care: Why don’t we talk about Racism?
    20 November 2020

    Rita Symons is an ex NHS leader who is now a leadership consultant, coach and facilitator. Her work is mainly in the NHS and she is an associate for PCC offering facilitation, coaching, strategy development and team development activities. She is a concerned but hopeful world citizen and combines work in the NHS with a board role in a non for profit organisation and an interest in writing.

  • Primary Care and the Health of the Public
    12 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

At the watering hole

Sir Trevor Longstay frowned. “Is ambition the right word?” he asked.

Martin Plackard looked at Beverly Heaver, NHS Blithering’s chief transformationalist.

“According to the focus group, ‘ambition’ is the word that resonates most strongly with clients at the wellbeing centre…” she began.

Sir Trevor stopped her. “Clients? Wellbeing centre?”

Plackard rubbed his hands solicitously. “What we used to call patients and the hospital, pre the rebrand, Sir Trevor. But please bear with us. All will be revealed in our presentation.”

Sir Trevor blinked slowly, like an elderly lion at a watering hole sensing the approach of easy prey.

“Do go on,” he said affably.

Bev Heaver needed no further encouragement. She described how several months of workshops, focus groups, and unconferences, led by a small army of ambassadors and change agents had arrived at a new identity, mission, vision and values for what used to be known as the hospital.

Her words were accompanied by a series of slides that appeared to have been drawn in crayon by a class of seven year olds.

Dr David Rummage, keen to get the carnage under way as soon as possible, asked a question.

Heaver looked puzzled. “I don’t know what you mean by winner,” she replied.

“For the colouring competition,” Rummage said.

“We can take that one offline, David,” said Plackard with a thin smile.

Blithering’s head of branding, communications and putting people at the heart of things, continued: “Thanks, Bev, for sharing the results of the engagement programme. Some really incredible insights to build on,” Plackard said.

He singled out the workshop on working with marginalised communities for particular praise.  Locking the delegates out of the event before lunch had not only been “a really teachable empathy moment” but had saved a small fortune in catering costs.

At this, Sir Trevor signalled his approval by briefly lowering a bushy eyebrow.

Rummage’s face clouded over. The antelope were getting away.

But he was reassured as Plackard seized the clicker, leapt to his feet and started the second half of the presentation, entitled Learnings and Next Steps. A pleasurable noise, somewhere between a purr and a growl came from Sir Trevor’s direction.

Plackard explained how the outputs from the engagement phase had been processed by the expert panel comprising himself, Bev Heaver and a branding consultant who specialised in values. The consultant could not be here, he added due to “other commitments” – namely the start of a prison term for fraud and tax evasion, though Plackard wisely chose to omit this detail.

Plackard flicked through a few slides of key messages and high-level findings before unveiling the new “ident” for Blithering’s crumbling district general hospital. Another purr from Sir Trevor as Plackard displayed the new logo for the Blithering Wellbeing Hub and the artist’s impression of the new Longstay Walk-in Centre, a cluster of Portakabins at the far side of the car park.

It was going a bit too well for Rummage’s liking, but he knew Plackard wouldn’t let him down. He didn’t.

“What’s that thing, Plackard?” asked Sir Trevor.

Plackard zoomed in to show a large sign at the hospital entrance bearing the message “Ambitious to serve the community”.

“I don’t see anything that says ‘hospital’,” said Sir Trevor, pleasantly. Rummage perked up. He started an imaginary Land Rover in which to retire to a safe distance.

“Exactly,” said Plackard. “All our focus groups told us that the word ‘hospital’ has negative connotations. People associate it with illness. That’s why we’ve got rid of all the other signage for A&E, radiology, outpatients and so on.”

“I see,” said Sir Trevor. He read the words on the slide aloud. “'Ambitious to serve the community' - it sounds like a slogan for a soup kitchen.”

Sir Trevor looked pleased with his joke and looked around to check that everyone else was too. They were.

Plackard looked delighted. “Great minds, Sir Trevor. The people’s kitchen is one of our other ideas,” he chirped. “We’ll get to that in the community inreach section.”

In Rummage’s mind the Big Beast of Blithering was on its feet, but keeping low and creeping forward. The antelope were still blissfully unaware of the imminent threat.

Bev Heaver started to list the core values the team had deconstructed to co-imagine the mission statement. Plackard started to draw a large red triangle on a flipchart. Sir Trevor Longstay was perfectly still, but poised and ready. A casual onlooker might have mistaken the slow parting of his lips for a smile. 

Rummage wanted to look away, but he couldn’t.

Wildlife editor: Julian Patterson