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Martin Plackard’s week: Monday


Blog headlines

  • Can the Community Pharmacy become the gateway to integrated care in the NHS?
    13 August 2020

    The NHS is a continually evolving innovative demand led public service the role of the Community Pharmacist is becoming the public face on a journey to the more responsible public engagement in the personal care of individuals and their family. There are currently over 11000 Pharmacies many are single or small chain service providers, while multiples occupy the urban shopping centres and more densely populated conurbations, the value of the rural High Street can’t be understated.

  • Crunch time for patient involvement
    7 August 2020

    There are new challenges for primary care, which could really do with patient input. Mike Etkind, chair of a PPG and founding member of his PCN’s patient group, recognises the size of the task clinical directors have managed over the last few months but identifies two particular issues where patients have a necessary and valuable contribution, that need to be addressed now – the 2020 vaccination programme and primary care from a distance- total triage, remote consultations, and the use of telemedicine.

  • Link of the week - Visionbridge
    31 July 2020

    The link we are sharing this week was submitted by Julian Jackson, Visionbridge.

  • Links of the week
    23 July 2020

    This week we are sharing two articles with you.

  • Link of the week
    21 July 2020

    The blog is from the perspective of the Company Chemist Association's Chief Executive Malcolm Harrison.

  • Link of the week
    9 July 2020

    This week we are sharing a blog from the NHS Confederation’s “NHS Reset” looking at the work of Healthwatch, the role of volunteers in supporting patients being discharged from hospital and the importance of the community.

  • 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.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Martin Plackard’s week: Monday

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 fabulous day out

To Bev Heaver’s Fabulously Easy Change unconference. It certainly lives up to its billing as the unevent of the year.

We start with an ice-breaker called the biscuit game where everybody has to role-play their favourite biscuit. Then there’s a rapid co-production huddle where we get to co-agree the agenda for the day.

After a break for coffee and pastries, Bev hands out copies of the agenda, then tells everyone to screw them up and throw them like snowballs at an imaginary target representing old power.

Without the agenda to box us in we can unleash our thinkfulness, after which anything is possible, she explains. We spend the next hour or so in a discussion about how being unleashed makes us feel and how great it is to be part of the conversation we’re having.

Then we break for a networking buffet lunch with two long, slow-moving queues which help delegates to form meaningful relationships, discover their common purpose, and share visions and values while they wait for chicken goujons and spicy Quorn bites.

Later Bev asks us to write our personal statements, then one person from each table (the “statementor”) makes a pledge and Bev asks everyone else to sign up to it. We all sign up – it’s a powerful moment.

My pledge to “make February a month of development and sustainable personal growth” is well received by my table. We share our own growth stories and agree to aim for consensus wherever possible.

We are working collaboratively, Bev says, which is one of her seven signifiers of a successful leader, along with storytelling, challenging norms, going beyond structures, boundaries and rules, embarking on journeys, bringing others along with you, and celebrating success.

Bev ends the day with an inspirational unpresentation where the slides appear to be in no particular order and have no “content” in the conventional sense. Under a slide with the word “bliss” in huge cartoon letters is a crudely drawn stick figure with a questionmark above its head.

“Passion is no longer enough. We need to lead with bliss,” Bev says, repeating the line a few times to let it sink in. “Blissful unknowledge,” she says, “is the key to successful, continuous change.” Bev is right: we should make it part of everyone’s job.

Finally we are asked to “be the change we want to see” by joining in with a rendition of Rod Stewart’s timeless song Sailing. Bev encourages us to forget what our colleagues will think when they see it on Youtube, put our hands in the air and sway gently as we sing. Several people are weeping before the first chorus.

The evaluation form has “Tell us what you really think!” written in crayon. Bev asks us to draw a biscuit – different to the one we chose at the start of the day. I draw a garibaldi. It just feels right.

I leave the event feeling more empowered than ever to raise awareness of the potential of transformational thought-leadership. I am almost ready to start making very small changes at scale.

Loose change editor: Julian Patterson  


Anonymous says:
Jan 31, 2020 08:38 AM

As always excellent insight into NHS leadership and management. As a student of NHS leadership and management this insightful blog has given me some fab ideas for my future assessed presentation - 'implementation of the safety huddle to tease out and drill down to a problem, in a non threatening way'.

Anonymous says:
Feb 11, 2020 10:49 AM

I absolutely love these Blogs. This one had me guffawing. Reminds me of W1A (BBC parody of itself)