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Martin Plackard’s week: Tuesday

 

Blog headlines

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    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

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  • 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.

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    9 January 2020

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

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    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.

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    After Christmas and the HSJ Awards, purdah is Martin Plackard’s favourite time of year.

  • Tools honoured in Blithering awards
    8 November 2019

    The Blithering Celebrating Success Awards are always eagerly anticipated. Every November, they recognise the commitment and dedication of people who put other people at the heart of everything they do before going the extra mile in their shoes. They also reflect the passionate belief of the organisers, Spume Media, in an awards-led approach to healthcare improvement science.

  • Provisional findings of the interim report
    31 October 2019

    The programme delivery group at One Blithering, the emergent NHS Blithering integrated care system, has published an interim report containing the provisional findings of a year-long strategic review.

  • Toast
    25 October 2019

    "The biggest complaint about the NHS which is beloved by everyone is about the food, and the biggest complaint about the food is about the lack of toast.”

 
 
Friday, 7 February 2020

Martin Plackard’s week: Tuesday

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

Random acts of systemness

Tuesday is the day for strategic dialogue, this week in shape of the day-long monthly meeting of the systemness committee of the ICS, the newly rebranded All Together Blithering.

The first item on the agenda is my proposal for better planning of random acts of kindness (RAOK).

RAOK have been shown to improve feelings of wellbeing, reduce sickness absence and improve staff retention. More to the point, after the chief nurse proposed that a Duty to be Nice should be written in to the NHS Constitution, a system-level performance measure for RAOK is expected to feature in forthcoming mandatory guidance from NHS England.

How, I ask, coming to the nub of the issue, do we move towards a culture of sustainable kindness at scale and ensure that random acts are made part of everyone’s job?

The meeting’s chair Sir Trevor Longstay, who necessarily takes a neutral position on kindness, cautions against rushing into anything. The new guidance, he says, will be written in the spirit of the NHS Long Term Plan, which means it’s not to be taken literally.

Sir Trevor does agree, however, to a position statement in which the committee expresses its continuing alignment with compassion-based principles and its determination to develop a kindness strategy going forward.

After lunch I facilitate a session where we review the latest draft of the Blithering People Plan. After three years of accelerated engagement, consultation and feedback, we now know what needs to be done. We’ve set this out in the form of a six-point charter:

  1. Rapidly aim to expand the workforce of the future
  2. Invest in or at least invent new roles
  3. Make mental health, general practice, hospitals and community services great places to work again, or for the first time
  4. Plan for excellence and hope for the best
  5. Make people feel valued, particularly when they are not
  6. Put people at the heart of things and keep them there

Underpinning the plan are a number of key appointments including a director of belonging, a head of acceptance and inclusion, a director of resilience and coping, an acting head of empathy and a co-director of sharing.

After a power break for tea and scones the committee turned its attention to the Blithering technology strategy. A damning report had found Blithering wanting in the tech department, a situation that interim chief information officer Dr David Rummage describes as “regrettable”. There has, though, been considerable progress since the Rummage Review, from which three key recommendations have emerged:

  • Fully embrace AI and other innovations by following Matt Hancock on Twitter
  • Realise the full potential of apps in all planning documents and interviews with the media
  • Refer to all uses of data as “population health management”

Dr Rummage also reported on progress at Blithering Skunkworks, the tech incubator and innovation hub modelled on the secretary of state’s NHSX tech unit.

There are important new appointments here too, including a director of platforms, senior sandbox architect, chief algorithms officer, and the creation of a new as yet-unfilled band 5 post of head of quality, cyber-security and user experience.

Sir Trevor brings the meeting to a close with an impassioned speech about the dangers of complacency, slacking and slovenliness. He echoes Norman Tebbit’s view that the NHS would benefit from more military-style discipline.

There is a brief discussion under AOB about whether part of the hospital car park could be set aside for use as a parade ground, and the HR implications of including an assault course in inductions for new staff. Diane Mace, our new chief people officer, looks doubtful but agrees to socialise the idea with the Staff Council and bring recommendations to the next meeting. 

Editor: Julian Patterson

julian.patterson@networks.nhs.uk
@NHSnetworks

 
Andrew Williams
Andrew Williams says:
Feb 07, 2020 03:12 PM

As educational as ever. Can anybody offer guidance on the level of CPD credits I can claim for reflecting on these articles?

Anonymous says:
Feb 07, 2020 04:27 PM

I do enjoy these each week, they do make me giggle! 'Plan for excellence and hope for the best' made me laugh out loud but data as population health management is only too true!

Anonymous says:
Feb 10, 2020 11:04 AM

I like how it took " accelerated engagement, consultation and feedback" for us to know what now needs to be done. And it's conveniently summed up in a no more than 6 bullet points!