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Plackard’s Christmas list

Friday, 21 December 2018

Plackard’s Christmas list

A personal message from Martin Plackard, head of winter communications at NHS Blithering, who urges us to think what the season of goodwill is really all about

Christmas is a place-based, person-centred time of year when our thoughts traditionally turn to transformation and integrated care systems.

As the long-term plan will clearly set out, we need to accelerate the pace at which we roll-out commitments to meaningful change. That means the next 10 years will be a period of unprecedented trial and error as we aim to deliver the integration, efficiency and innovation that people tell us they so desperately want from the NHS.

In Simon Stevens’ memorable phrase, “using NHS services should be like going to the garden centre – not something you look forward to but not too bad if it has free parking, a decent café and pleasant staff.”

The drive to embed what the plan will call “the NHS experience” in every health setting and care professional will begin next year and will be everyone’s business.

Meanwhile, this resource pack of seasonally-relevant toys and games should help you to implement Christmas safely and effectively. It should also support local areas to make transitional arrangements to the revised and refreshed year we’re provisionally calling 2019.

Transformatron – this shape shifting change agent figure will teach young minds how an over-engineered toy is much more fun than work. One minute it’s a robot warrior called The Fabulator ordering you to become a positive deviant, the next it’s an all-terrain Support Chassis, then it turns into an AI-based mobile fridge for delivering stockpiled medicines. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and grasp of reality. (Batteries not included.)

Charades – twist on the traditional favourite in which one player has to mime the title of a book, film or play and the other players have to guess what it is. In this version, a finance director is given an impossible financial target then has to convince the other players – or “regulators” – that he has a credible plan to hit it. Most of the fun comes towards the end of the game when the plan is revealed as a work of fiction. The winner is the first player to shout “control total”. If there are no winners, the game ends when everyone is in special measures.

Trivial Pursuit – the trivia board game reissued here in a Sustainability and Transformation Edition. Players take it in turns to answer questions about who’s in charge, how an organisation with no legal basis can be accountable, and who will be first to lose their job when it all goes pear-shaped. The winner is the one running the large hospital.

ICS Train Set – fairly challenging toy for older children only. The aim is to build a complete railway network with almost no straight lengths of track, very few sets of points, antiquated rolling stock and no instructions. Suits groups of players with little or nothing in common and no interest in trains or railways.

Long-term Planner (LTP) – builds on the retro success of the Five Year Forward Viewer, enabling realistic looking futuristic scenarios to be viewed though a short length of cardboard tube. With twice the range of its predecessor the LTP makes the future appear more exciting and further away than ever. (Warning: Not suitable for use as a planning tool.)

Editor: Julian Patterson


Thanks for reading the newsletter this year. We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year. The next issue is on 4 January 2019. 

Anonymous says:
Dec 21, 2018 11:30 AM

"Charades" sounds a lot like Brexit.

Anonymous says:
Dec 21, 2018 04:20 PM

"Charades" sounds a lot like my job

georgewebb70 says:
Dec 22, 2018 12:11 PM

Julian, you still continue to entertain me. More power to your elbow in the New Year. Trivial Pursuit top of my list George

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Dec 23, 2018 02:18 AM

I'm very pleased to hear from you George. It's been a few years. Merry Christmas!