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Jack and the Beanstalk revisited


Blog headlines

  • 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.

  • What now for primary care
    4 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.

  • Boosting your resilience
    30 October 2020

    The last year has been a difficult one, who would have imagined last Christmas that we would have been in lockdown, with the NHS seriously tested by a global pandemic. So much change has happened and the resilience of people working in and with health and care services has been seriously tested. Resilience is our ability to deal with, find strengths in and/or recover from difficult situations. Its sometimes referred to as “bounceabiliy” – but bouncing in what way?

  • Link of the week: National Cholesterol Month
    23 October 2020

    Every month or week of the year seems to be an awareness week, October has more than its fair share.

  • 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.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Jack and the Beanstalk revisited

Jack lived with his mother. They were very poor. The king had decreed that everyone should live in poverty for as long as it took to rid the land of debt and balance the books.

One day, Jack’s mother told him to take their sacred cow to market. “Whatever you do, get a good price for her,” she said.

On his way to market, Jack met a mysterious stranger who said he was from the king’s counting house. He offered Jack a handful of coloured beans in return for the cow.

“These beans are magical,” the man told Jack. “They can be used to pay for everything at once and they will never run out – unlike your poor cow, which is clearly on its last legs.”

Jack liked the sound of the beans, but he remembered what his mother had told him. “How do I know these really are magic beans?” he asked.

The man replied: “They are from last autumn’s bumper spending review crop. Just issue a press release promising to use them at some time in the future, but don’t actually spend any,” he said.

Jack knew a good deal when he saw one. He handed over the cow and put the beans in his pocket.

The village doctors were cross because everyone kept getting sick and coming to them for help. Jack showed them the magic beans. “You can have these tomorrow,” he said. “Use them to buy new premises, pay yourselves more or go on holiday.”

The doctors were very pleased.

Next Jack went to the hospital, which was falling down and running out of money to pay the bills. “You can use my magic beans if you like,” he said. “I am going to put them in a special transformational place, where everyone can share them.”

The people at the hospital were very pleased.

Then Jack went to social services, where all the poorest people of the village gathered.  “These beans will solve all your problems, too,” he said. “I am going to set up a bean cultivation fund so you can grow as many as you wish. Details of the application process will be available shortly. A notice will be posted in the food bank.”

The people from social services were very pleased.

When Jack got home and told his mother what had happened, she was very angry.

“You stupid boy!” she cried. “These beans are worthless and there are not enough to go round.”

With that, she took the beans and flung them out of the window, sending Jack to bed without any supper.

The next morning, hearing a loud commotion, Jack went outside. He expected to see that a huge beanstalk had grown up overnight next to a sign reading: “Large pot of gold and easily slain giant this way”.

Instead, all he saw was an angry mob. The village doctors wanted their beans. So did the hospital. The ragged people from social services had come armed with staves and rolled-up copies of The Guardian.

Jack ran from the village as fast as his legs could carry him. He was never seen again.

The man from the counting house got a good price for the cow at market. His friends laughed when they heard how he had paid for it with a handful of beans.

They all lived within their means happily ever after.

Disclaimer: The value of beans can go down as well as up. Your cow may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments. Fairytale ending not guaranteed. Terms and conditions apply.

Children’s editor: Julian Patterson


Anonymous says:
Apr 29, 2016 08:01 AM

Very funny as always "the village doctors were cross because everyone kept getting sick" hahaha.

Clive Spindley
Clive Spindley says:
May 02, 2016 01:45 PM

hi again,
... and to bring you right up to date, Pps and PiCMs have evolved in to the Health Journey, IT's real, this is no "fairy tale" (i'll leave the **** **** to the pansies)

Anonymous says:
May 03, 2016 10:39 AM

"He expected to see that a huge beanstalk had grown up overnight next to a sign reading, Large pot of gold and easily slain giant this way."

Who had chopped down the beanstalk and thrown away the sign? There was a goose up there as well which laid golden eggs. (I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!)

Anonymous says:
May 04, 2016 04:59 PM

I read this blog every week. It really made me laugh out loud this week... in a week when there's not a great deal to laugh about!