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Christmas gift ideas


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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas gift ideas

As it’s very nearly that time of year, here is the editor’s pick of the best Christmas gifts.

The NHS Settlement Magic Set – Astound your friends with this amazing trick. Ask someone to put £10bn on the table. Which cup is it under? Keep moving the cups around, then watch their faces as you show them the empty cups. The £10bn was in your imagination the whole time! 


  • The Magic Ringfence – see it move before your very eyes
  • The Old Rope Trick – take two or more NHS regulators and keep throwing money at them until they merge
  • The Vanishing Doctor – keep rubbing the profession up the wrong way until it disappears, then announce that you’re going to bring it back by magic – but don’t tell anyone how the trick is done. Also works with nurses.

(Argos, £6.99)

Hornby Improvement Engine –This OO-gauge locomotive comes in a number of models including a primary care diesel shunter and an FT-class steam engine.

Complete with an NHS England designed railway management system with fail-safe signalling and points, realistic miniature ageing population and 500-page instruction manual.

Have fun reorganising your railway as often as you like. Available track layouts: circular.

(Toys R Us, £59)

Transformation and Sustainability Piggybank – This frontloading moneybox allows you to save for the things you really want while paying for the things you really need. Each time you deposit a coin it goes straight down the back passage to keep hospitals running. Keep saving until you have nothing left.

Great way to teach children the value of creative accounting.

(John Lewis, £1.8 billion)

Clueso! – The ever-popular murder-mystery board game.  Fun for all the family as Professor Field, chief inspector of general practice is found in the library with a knife in his back clutching a copy of the Daily Mail.

Who did it? Was it Ms Hackette the journalist with an overblown exclusive or Mr Flack the CQC press officer who arranged the interview in the first place?  And where was Dr Bluster from the BMA…?

(WH Smith, £4.99)

Airfix New Model of Care – Authentic 1/72 scale model of future healthcare services with real flight capability. Flight modes include: vertical take-off, running out of fuel and crash-landing. 

Choking hazard - contains unbelievable parts. Note: finished model may bear no resemblance to picture on box.

(Hobbycraft, £200 million)

Secretary of State Action Figure – Completely lifelike Jeremy Hunt doll. Roll up his shirt sleeves as he gets ready to go on a hospital visit with Simon Stevens and a BBC camera crew or goes into battle with junior doctors. 

Outfits: ministerial briefs, full combat dress.

Batteries not included. Simon Stevens figure sold separately.

(Hamleys, £134,500)

Retail editor: NHS Networks


susan.may@gemcsu.nhs.uk says:
Dec 18, 2015 08:46 AM

Absolutely brilliant! (as always). This made me laugh out louder than the suggestions we got from our Comms team for 'Festivities with the Team' which included 'Festive Walks' - not sure when you're supposed to fit that in - and 'Festive Colouring Pages' with a link direct to the internet! I kid you not!

Steve Benjamin
Steve Benjamin says:
Dec 18, 2015 09:09 AM

Ditto. Absolutely brilliant! (as always). Without you and Copperfield (Pulse) I would give up and go mad or is it go mad and give up? Too late....

Anonymous says:
Dec 18, 2015 09:48 AM

Genius! But maybe you also should also consider a book as a gift. I particulary recommend the latest addition to a well known series - "Healthcare Acronyms, Abbreviations and Jargon for Dummies". It's good value as it comes with a new, free update every 8 weeks.....

trevor jenkins
trevor jenkins says:
Dec 18, 2015 10:09 AM

Marvellous! better than drugs even! Disappointed that you missed that the Airfix Model of Care aviation safety points can also be applied to NHS Clinical Risk Reduction methodologies.

Harry Longman
Harry Longman says:
Dec 18, 2015 10:20 AM

How does he do it? I nearly fell over. It's going to be a good day.

Anoop Maini
Anoop Maini says:
Dec 18, 2015 10:33 AM

Love it...! Merry Christmas all!

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Dec 18, 2015 10:41 AM

Thank you all for the comments.

susan austin
susan austin says:
Dec 18, 2015 10:43 AM

Brilliant - one of the best yet. Look forward to the blog every week:) (So you can't ever retire!)

Antony Nelson
Antony Nelson says:
Dec 18, 2015 11:40 AM

Another superb and very wittily observed piece thanks Julian. Should be essential reading for all NHS Managers and staff.
10/10 :-)
Have a great Christmas

Maria Burton
Maria Burton says:
Dec 18, 2015 12:25 PM

Fantastic - my colleague & I were crying with laughter. I think it
was as good as last years' Christmas blog - which was also brilliant. Looking forward to the next one. :)

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Dec 18, 2015 12:40 PM

Thanks for all the nice messages. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a restful break (if you're getting one).