143,008 members

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Blog

If the government did birthdays…

 

Blog headlines

  • 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/)

  • Social care to become lifestyle brand
    16 April 2020

    Social care is to get a new brand identity as the government seeks to reverse the perception that it is the poor relation of the NHS.

  • Blithering Covid-19 bulletin plays vital role
    2 April 2020

    To fill a gap in the market for timely and relevant Covid-19 information, Martin Plackard, director of global crisis communications at NHS Blithering introduces his latest initiative to reach out to stakeholders during the outbreak.

  • Social distancing the Longstay way
    27 March 2020

    We asked Sir Trevor Longstay, chief executive of the NHS Blithering University Hospitals Foundation Trust and commander-in-chief of the Blithering Covid-19 Taskforce to give us some practical tips on social distancing. Here he shares some of the lessons learned over four decades of leadership – not all of them relevant or epidemiologically sound

  • Nothing left to shift: fears grow over NHS paradigm supply
    12 March 2020

    The government has issued a stark warning that stocks of paradigms and other basic supplies could soon run out if NHS managers continue panic-buying.

  • Matt Hancock’s diary – a week of levelling up
    27 February 2020

    Taking personal charge of global pandemics is one of the perks of this job. I’m referring to coronavirus, of course, and I’m booked to appear on Sky News to talk about it.

  • Exceeding your expectations: the Blithering staff survey
    20 February 2020

    Staff at NHS Blithering feel listened to “at least once a year” and report that their expectations of taking part in surveys have been “met” or “exceeded” in the past 12 months.

  • Martin Plackard’s week: Tuesday
    7 February 2020

    The second in our series of privileged insights to the working life of Martin Plackard, the NHS’s most gifted communicator

  • Martin Plackard’s week: Monday
    30 January 2020

    First in an occasional series of glimpses into a typical week in the life of Martin Plackard, the NHS's most influential strategic communicator

  • A quick guide to quick guides
    24 January 2020

    Few of us have time for long documents that take ages to read or a lot of expertise to put together. That’s where quick guides come in.

  • Towards people and impact
    17 January 2020

    This week the Royal Pharmaceutical Society advertised for a head of engagement and belonging. Such titles can be controversial – but not for Martin Plackard, whose CV features a number of leadership roles in the fields of impact, euphemism management and talent delivery.

  • National log-in reset will change everything
    9 January 2020

    This week the Department of Health and Social Care announced a £40m investment to make it easier to log-in to NHS computers. It’s a laudable aim, akin to fitting a keyless entry system to a Ford Anglia to make it go faster.

  • Martin Plackard’s top tips for making a difference in 2020
    3 January 2020

    NHS Blithering’s Martin Plackard MBE was recognised in the new year honours list for services to strategic communications and meaningful engagement. Here he gives his top tips for others who hope to make a very real difference to people, communities and their own career prospects in 2020.

  • My amazing Twitter year – by Matt Hancock
    20 December 2019

    It's been a fantastic year on social media for the secretary of state for health and the other thing. Here it is in very nearly his own words

  • Sustainability and transformation parties: mandatory guidance
    5 December 2019

    As Christmas fast approaches, system leaders are getting ready for so-called sustainability and transformation parties, the highlight of the year for those who enjoy kinky integration with strangers.

  • All the latest health policy news from the general **** campaign
    29 November 2019

    Because purdah is still in force, this week’s **** has been heavily redacted. Here are the main parties’ plans for government as set out in their manifestos. A full unexpurgated version can be obtained from **** Party HQ.

  • New outfit more splendidly integrated than ever
    21 November 2019

    The emperor has announced plans for yet another new outfit, amid claims that this one will be even more splendid than the last.

 
 
Thursday, 24 May 2018

If the government did birthdays…

It would leak a range of different birthday present ideas to the BBC ranging from a plastic comb to a brand new Ferrari. The BBC would report them all as birthday facts.

Sources would variously claim that celebrating your birthday would require a change in the law or could be organised by way of informal collaboration between your friends. Days before the event you learn that your birthday is to be “co-designed” by “the birthday assembly”, a group of your dullest relatives.

You would be told you could invite anyone you like to your party but not all of them would get a balloon and a slice of cake. Older and less well-off friends are allowed but only if they don’t come into the house or ask for anything.

You are guaranteed a birthday card for the next ten years but it would come with money for only the first five. What happens after that depends on how well you’ve performed against a range of anniversary related targets and key birthday indicators.

Your birthday money would be allocated through a variety of funding routes with some of it going to friends and relatives to give you throughout the year, as long as you complete all stages of the application process and meet the numerous assurance requirements.

You can buy anything you like with your birthday money as long as the shop selling it is on the birthday procurement framework, the cost and complexity of which is so great that all the small interesting shops are out of scope. You’re left with Tesco Clubcard points and a B&Q voucher, but you can have a lot of fun with a frozen lasagne and an electric drill.

Your parents say you can do what you like on your birthday. They set out the rules for doing what you like in a manual running to several hundred pages. The day before your birthday, they demand a detailed plan for how you intend to do what you like on your next 10 birthdays.

All of your qualifying friends will sit down to a birthday tea based on a limited menu of chopped vegetables and grains provided by Health Education England followed by reduced sugar jelly and dairy free ice cream. There are no paper hats because your parents pledged to eradicate them by 2024, but there are digital placemats from Uncle Matthew and crayons kindly donated by NHS Horizons.

After tea a very senior relative will lead the guests in a chorus of Happy Birthday followed by a motivational chant of “we can do this” to get everyone in the right frame of mind for the mandatory games.

These include old favourites such as pass the parcel, in which the idea is to move the parcel as quickly as possible from one guest setting to the next. It can end in tears when transfers of the parcel are delayed, but you can always blame the people in the garden.

Musical chairs is also fun – whoever is left without a chair when the music stops will get a job at NHS Improvement or a major management consultancy when they grow up. Every few birthdays the chairs will be moved around just for the hell of it.

At the end of the day your parents announce that in future your birthday is to be integrated with those of all the other kids in the street, whether you like them or not. And for the sake of efficiency, Christmas will be held on the same day.

They hope you had a nice time. You nod gratefully.

Editor: Julian Patterson

@jtweeterson
julian.patterson@networks.nhs.uk