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Martin Plackard’s implementation framework


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Friday, 5 July 2019

Martin Plackard’s implementation framework

This week, NHS Blithering's communications supremo Martin Plackard, looks forward to delivering the commitments of the NHS Long Term Plan. But first he has to reassure Sir Trevor Longstay, head of the Blithering STP, that the newly published NHS England Implementation Framework leaves plenty of scope for local determination

I am excited to start another landmark week at NHS Blithering where we have more success to celebrate and more initiatives to kickstart than ever.

It’s great to see that NHS England has published an implementation framework for the NHS Long Term Plan, which means we can finally start planning in earnest. We have about eight weeks to submit our draft five-year strategy ready for a full rollout before Christmas.

I brief Sir Trevor about the implementation framework so he doesn’t have to waste time reading it. He isn’t happy about the phrase “a practical programme…including a number of specific commitments”, but I warn him not to read too much into these words. They are not meant to be taken literally.

There are two different planning horizons, I explain. Any “practical” and “specific” items, or “outcomes”, refer to the ten-year term of the long-term plan. That will give us time for two five-year strategies, and possibly more if we allow for pauses, resets, refreshes and interim plans.

I urge Sir Trevor to think of our five-year strategy as the pre-specific, shadow implementation phase of a backloaded long-term plan.

He looks reassured.

I also remind him that the autumn spending review, the next prime minister, a change of government or the complete economic and social collapse likely to follow a no-deal Brexit may oblige us to revisit our planning assumptions long before we’re called to account.

“So we'll trot out the usual rubbish,” says Sir Trevor, genially.

“I prefer to think of it as building on the success of our last plan,” I say, in an effort to maintain a degree of gravitas.

“Jolly good, Plackard. Carry on,” he snorts, before toddling off to his next meeting.

I spend a productive afternoon drafting the five-year strategy. The NHS England implementation framework provides the chapter headings. I cut and paste the rest from our 2017 two-year plan Towards Transformation, taking care to remove references to vanguards, new care models and general practice and make numerous mentions of “integrated care systems”, “place” and “primary care networks”.

After that it only remains to align our key priorities with the national programme by making sure that the words “as part of the NHS Long Term Plan” appear at least once on every page.

I’m pretty pleased with the title. Planning to Deliver: the Next Five Years. It tells you everything you need to know about our level of ambition.

Editor: NHS Networks


Mark BRANTON says:
Jul 11, 2019 01:34 PM

Very strange news letter, no relevant to North Lincolnshire. What are the Planning Assumptions?

Anonymous says:
Jul 11, 2019 02:05 PM

Glad you're back!
Excellent summary of how to navigate the new implementation framework successfully, re-hash the ones we did years ago and change the key words. That is literally what we've just done. Learn the new lingo and you're on for a winner, you could make a career out of writing a new policy once you've failed to implement the old one and still look highly successful....err hang on....hmmm