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Heavy weather


Blog headlines

  • ‘There is nothing so practical as a good theory’
    16 September 2021

    The Networks blog this week comes from the Staff College: Leadership in Healthcare (Staff College) is a national charity dedicated to promoting great leadership for the public good.

  • Reflections on a ‘new’ NHS and its impact on general practice
    10 September 2021

    This week’s blog we are sharing reflections by William Greenwood on the direction for the health service and potential impact on general practice.

  • When facilitation could turn into mediation
    3 September 2021

    Requests to attend a meeting, to help find a way forward, to help with planning, to redesign a care pathway, and numerous other reasons are not always what they seem. Sometimes you will be asked to facilitate, or just asked to attend. What then happens in the room may not be the meeting that you are expecting. Other situations, such as tensions between practices, departments or teams may give a more obvious sign that what is needed goes beyond just attending or facilitating a little.

  • Population Health Management?
    26 August 2021

    One of the frequently heard phrases of the moment is population health management – but what is it and does it work. The blog is from a longer article by Monica Duncan exploring the topic.

  • The future must be primary care
    19 August 2021

    The blog this week is by Professor David Colin-Thomé, chair of PCC.

  • Preparing for winter 2021/22
    13 August 2021

    One of the hottest days of the year saw people from practices, primary care networks (PCNs) and federations gather to start to think creatively about managing their winter pressures in this session hosted by PCC and the NHS Confederation PCN Network.

  • Building the collaboration
    5 August 2021

    Prior to COVID-19 primary care network (PCN) community pharmacy leads (representing a group of pharmacy contractors in their locality) were starting to contact the clinical director for their allocated PCN to discuss how pharmacy services could develop and adapt to help address community health needs.

  • Audit into action… with a pandemic thrown into the mix!
    29 July 2021

    A blog from the Clinical Leads for the National Audit of Care at the End of Life (NACEL).

  • GP partnership uses new video to highlight benefits of its merger-led transformation
    23 July 2021

    An East Cheshire-based GP practice, the Middlewood Partnership, which formally merged in order to successfully transform its clinical and business models, is sharing insights, via a new video, with colleagues across the health and social care sector.

  • Early evaluation of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Trailblazer
    15 July 2021

    The Birmingham, RAND and Cambridge Evaluation Centre (BRACE) is funded by the National Institute for Health Research to conduct rapid evaluation of promising new services and innovations in health and social care. The BRACE Rapid Evaluation Centre and Policy Innovation and Evaluation Research Unit have published findings from the early evaluation of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Trailblazer programme.

  • Learn from reflection
    8 July 2021

    We are sharing an article by Helen Northall, chief executive, PCC this week on learning from reflection.

  • Link of the week: National Thank You Day
    1 July 2021

    This week we are featuring National Thank You Day.

  • North East Essex integrated discharge single point of access - implementing the Coronavirus Act 2020 and Covid-19 hospital discharge service requirements
    24 June 2021

    The blog this week is from Frank Sims, chief executive of Anglian Community Enterprise and shares learning on collaboration and redesign to support hospital discharge.

  • Helping your patients making an informed choice: Medical or Surgical abortion?
    17 June 2021

    This week the blog has been submitted by MSI Reproductive Choices UK and is about supporting patients to make an informed choice based on NICE guidance.

  • The potential for case finding patients with cardiovascular disease in a dental setting
    10 June 2021

    The blog this week is by Wendy Crew, PCC adviser, considering the opportunity to case find patients with cardiovascular disease in a dental setting.

  • Using population health data to inform ARRS recruitment
    3 June 2021

    Funding for the additional role reimbursement scheme (ARRS) has increased nationally from £430m (2020-21) to £746m max. (2021-22) with an allocation available for each primary care network (PCN) depending on the size of the population it covers. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) draw down the funds but only as new roles are recruited within PCNs. PCNs are therefore being strongly encouraged to make use of their ARRS allocation to ensure people in their neighbourhoods benefit from the funding available.

  • SHAPE Atlas mapping tool
    27 May 2021

    As the themes of the NHS Long Term Plan start to become reality through plans for legislation to support integration, we need to work out where the best place is to deliver services.

  • Cancer Care Map
    20 May 2021

    The blog this week has been submitted by Robin Pritchard, co-director of Cancer Care Map. Cancer Care Map is a stand-alone, comprehensive, independent, free to use online directory of cancer support services in the UK providing verified and trusted information, regularly checked and updated and accessible to all.

  • Understanding and aligning link worker and community capacity building activity: A place-based approach in York and Wakefield
    13 May 2021

    The blog this week is by Sian Lockwood, chief executive officer of Community Catalysts.

  • Virtual group consultations and Why skip/send it to landfill?
    6 May 2021

    An article on group consultations that celebrates the patient perspective and experiences of receiving care this way from Alison Manson. Blog on reusing/recycling and saving money for a NHS Trust from Alex Ford.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Heavy weather

The NHS is grinding to a standstill in the face of the harshest conditions for several weeks. NHS bosses have activated emergency plans as prolonged spells of paperwork threaten to engulf hospitals and doctors’ surgeries complain of being completely snowed under.

The worst-affected areas have been put on a red tape alert. Heavy falls of paper are forecast for the foreseeable future.

Staff complaining of being “up to their necks in the white stuff” are struggling to get up in the morning. Those who manage to make it into work say they are unable to get anything done.

One manager told of her own near-death experience. 

“It was awful,” she said. “There was a light dusting of forms when I came into the office, but by around 4pm the drifts were so deep you couldn’t get to the door. Luckily a colleague had brought a shovel, so we were able to dig our way out. I dread to think what would have happened otherwise.”

Finance directors are particularly vulnerable with many finding themselves on very thin ice or up frozen creeks without access to adequate paddles.

Meanwhile GPs complain that constant interruptions from people walking into their premises demanding to be “seen” are preventing them from completing vital paperwork.

One group of managers was found buried alive under several feet of self-assessment forms.  “We ate Kit Kats and read each other passages from the Five Year Forward View to keep our spirits up,” said one grateful survivor.

Rescuers said they had no idea how long the managers had been there.  “We arrived just in time. They were already talking gibberish. Any longer and this could have been a really tragic situation.”

MPs are demanding to know why the NHS was not better prepared for the onslaught of thick documents, which is always worst at this time of year.

But NHS England said that unexpected interim planning guidance had hit parts of the country very hard.

“This took us completely by surprise,” a spokesperson said. “It’s not unknown to see flurries of mind-numbing drivel towards the end of the financial year, but this winter is particularly bad.”

NHS England’s emergency response team say they are on top of the situation. A 96-page guidance document (Towards Digital: Aiming to Alleviate the Adverse Effects of Excess Paperwork and Inappropriate Form Filling in Due Course) is being rushed out to the hardest-hit areas in specially adapted snow ploughs equipped with high volume photocopiers.

A government spokesman said the NHS was coping well with the extreme conditions. “We’d like to pay tribute to the courage and dedication of NHS staff up and down the country for collecting essential data, completing plans and writing reports without which quite literally millions of people would get on with their lives as usual,” he said.

Winter of discontent editor: NHS Networks


Bernadette Grabowska-Kirk
Bernadette Grabowska-Kirk says:
Mar 02, 2018 08:20 AM

Please stop!!! My ribs are aching with laughter ... at the accuracy of this post! :-)

Anonymous says:
Mar 02, 2018 09:39 AM

So funny! I work in a gp surgery and lately I am wondering, 'Where have all the doctors gone?'They are busy doing qof work, HR, partner business administration..... why?? A patient commented- 'you can never get an appointment but when you walk into the surgery, there isn't a body in there'( she's Irish). It's true.I ask myself also, 'where have al lthe patients gone?'. I can only conclude they are in the walk in centres where they are directed every morning around 8.20 because all the days appointments have gone.Why?

Anonymous says:
Mar 02, 2018 04:08 PM

Hilarious as usual! I look forward to these postings. Keep up the good work!

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Mar 02, 2018 06:57 PM

Thanks for the comments, folks. The usual disclaimer applies: all bodies mentioned in this post are fictional. Probably.

Judy Aldred
Judy Aldred says:
Mar 05, 2018 09:02 AM

One of your best. Only managed to read it today as I was snowed in :)

Sygal Amitay
Sygal Amitay says:
Mar 20, 2018 03:32 PM

An absolute classic!