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Martin Plackard’s rear view


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, 5 January 2017

Martin Plackard’s rear view

At the end of December Radio 4’s Today programme invited guest editors to shape the morning’s output. They included Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, and Martin Plackard, director of person-centred engagement and digital road-mapping at Blithering CCG. Here, for anyone who missed it, is a transcript of an interview with Martin by the BBC’s Sarah Montague.

Sarah Montague: Let’s start with your proudest moment of 2016.

Martin Plackard: Too many to list, but I would have to mention our HSJ award for being Most Improved Health Economy in the Severely Challenged category. The judges concluded that we had made tremendous progress since 2015…

SM: ….when Blithering was named Worst Commissioning Group of All Time by the World Health Organisation.

MP: Yes, quite. So a really significant achievement.

SM: And yet you remain at the bottom of every NHS league table including for waiting times, mortality, patient experience, staff morale, financial performance…

MP: That’s nit-picking, frankly. But look, league tables are not important. Blithering is people and values led not target driven. It’s outcomes that matter to hard-working families.

SM: When Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England visited Blithering recently, he said it was “a complete shambles and a salutary lesson in how not to run a health economy”. What do you think he meant by that?

MP: You could take it in a number of ways but it needs to be seen in context. Look we’ve never made a secret of the health challenges we face in Blithering which, remember, is one of the most deprived areas of the country, particularly when it comes to leadership talent.

SM: Okay, but what about NHS Improvement boss Jim Mackey’s comment a few weeks later that Blithering had launched “a string of barmy schemes at a cost of millions of pounds with little or no discernible benefit”.

MP: I think you’ll find that was Jim’s dry sense of humour. I see it as his way of thanking the Blithering top team for being bold enough to take risks that some others are reluctant to take, and for having the courage to share the learning even when not everything has gone according to plan.

SM: Let’s talk about some of those bold risks: personal booze budgets for teenagers and your controversial “Oi, Fatty!” campaign against obesity, both of which generated a storm of negative media.

MP: It’s true we got a fantastic volume of coverage, not all of it fully behind our approach, but I’m not going to apologise for drawing attention to some of the biggest health issues of our age.

SM: During your alcohol awareness scheme the police reported unprecedented levels of drunkenness, with many of the children involved ending up in A&E.

MP: We prefer to describe them as young people, Sarah, to avoid stigmatising labels.

To answer your question, yes there were a few teething problems with the Have a Responsible Pint on Us campaign, but look at what we achieved: more people signed up than for any other public health initiative and incredibly positive user feedback, including from young people who had never tried alcohol before.

SM: The fact remains that you were paying people to drink, which just sounds incredibly stupid.

MP: The difference was we were paying them to drink responsibly – and at designated centres under the supervision of trained frontline professionals. 

SM: You mean pubs and bar staff with a vested interest in selling as much booze to kids as possible?

MP: Before anyone could become an alcohol awareness buddy, they had to sign up to our Healthy Drinking Partners’ Charter, which includes a strict code of conduct. We were very clear that anyone who flouted the code would be banned from working as a buddy in future.

SM: Turning to the obesity campaign, this was described by the Guardian as “the vilest public health campaign ever”.

MP: Which was exactly the kind of strong reaction we had been hoping for. It was a deliberately hard-hitting campaign designed to make people of mass sit up and take notice – or if they couldn’t sit up, ask themselves: “Is it because I’ve just consumed my own body weight in chocolate biscuits or perhaps because I’ve suffered a fatal heart attack in front of the telly?”

SM: Finally, Martin Plackard, what do you think 2017 has in store for Blithering?

MP: Well, Sarah, I’d like to say we’re going to have an easier ride but the truth is that it’s going to be another tough year. But we’ve worked incredibly hard in recent weeks to complete our local sustainability and transformation plan, which makes some very real draft commitments to vision, engagement and delivery.

SM: Which are what exactly?

MP: Expect to see a more digitally enabled, place-based Blithering working together as a whole system and co-producing health innovation with stakeholders every step of the way. To make that happen we’re going to need more tools, more templates and of course more plans. It’s going to be an exciting year.

SM: We’ll have to leave it there, I'm afraid. Martin Plackard, thank you.

Media editor: NHS Networks 


Kassander says:
Jan 29, 2017 11:37 PM

It’s going to be an exciting year.
Going forward.