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Social care to become lifestyle brand


Blog headlines

  • 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.

  • National log-in reset will change everything
    9 January 2020

    This week the Department of Health and Social Care announced a £40m investment to make it easier to log-in to NHS computers. It’s a laudable aim, akin to fitting a keyless entry system to a Ford Anglia to make it go faster.

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

    NHS Blithering’s Martin Plackard MBE was recognised in the new year honours list for services to strategic communications and meaningful engagement. Here he gives his top tips for others who hope to make a very real difference to people, communities and their own career prospects in 2020.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Social care to become lifestyle brand

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.

The government is promising to invest millions in creating “brand equity” for care services to rival the internationally recognised NHS brand.

Minister for Health and the Other Thing Matt Hancock said:

“Some people have wrongly assumed that years of underfunding of social care and the chronic deterioration of services reflect a lack of commitment to PR and marketing on the part of this government. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Even second-class citizens deserve a first-rate logo.”

Five-pillar plan

Mr Hancock promised a five-pillar plan to ensure that the social care brand has the same perceived value and global recognition as the NHS.

Key measures will include:

  • A refresh of the “care” brand starting with the immediate use of an initial capital letter in all marketing communications
  • Development of a new brand architecture including a distinctive logo and hashtag for use in social media
  • A new statutory Duty to Recognise that makes it a criminal offence not to pay lip-service to social care in press releases and official documents
  • A national awareness drive to stop seeing people who are poor, vulnerable or in need as problems and reposition them as brand assets.

National celebration

As part of a national programme of events designed to build brand recognition Mr Hancock announced that he has asked musical theatre impresario Cameron Mackintosh to work with other leading figures in the entertainment industry to develop a “care celebration” similar to the NHS tribute in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics of 2012.

It will feature dancing social workers and a musical pageant in which directors of adult social services stage mock budget battles with local authority housing officers.  A newly commissioned Compassion Symphony with a score by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Elton John will be performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and surviving members of the Rolling Stones.

Lifestyle brand

Mr Hancock said: “Thanks to successive Conservative governments demand for social care has never been higher, but I’m aware that the sector has sometimes had the feeling that it didn’t get the recognition it deserved. We’re going to change all that with our plan to transform social care into a global lifestyle brand along the lines of Nike or Apple.”

Editor: Julian Patterson


Anonymous says:
Apr 17, 2020 09:35 AM

Please don't ever stop blogging, your wit and insight are the highlight of my week. If you get any funnier I will have to buy shares in Tena Lady (although other brands are available).

Anonymous says:
Apr 17, 2020 09:35 AM

Do not need to invent a Brand. just scrap the Social Care Act 2012 that split the services between NHS and social Care. They should be together and under government funding. We never hear of anyone from Department of Health says any thing during Covid-19 outbreak. We have Provider for this and that. Stops outsourcing when we all know it does not work. The whole health and Social Care has become so fragmented. All care staff should be under the same Band for pay so it does not matter where you work you are equal> Hope something come out positive after Covid-19. NHS and all the care providers not only Consultants, doctor and nurses will still be remembered and valued as much after Covid-19 and not only during saving life. Hope NHS is not going to be privatised to pay for the expenses??? Stops PFI - can government pay off all NHS debts and back to basic where we care about people and not targets or statistic. Matt Hancock does not need a new `Brand`. Songs and dances and clapping are nice gestures but do not pay your bills or make them any less stressed if NHS is short of funding and staff to look after the patients!!! We have the best NHS that is the envy of other nations but we want to get rid of it. Try to make it work. It is possible if the power wants to do it. Why give away profit to private providers. Why not open the hospital longer. It will worth the overtime payment both to the government and the staff who would appreciate any extra earnings. Can only hope for the good old days - not perfect but still better than now. I have been working for NHS since 1970. Have noticed the deterioration in staff morale and pride.!!

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Apr 17, 2020 10:46 AM

People have been objecting for years about the difficulty of combining a tax-funded service (NHS) with a means-tested one (social care) but perhaps if any good comes from the pandemic it will be that we discover that previously insurmountable obstacles are surmountable after all. Thanks for your comment

Anonymous says:
Apr 17, 2020 03:39 PM

I sent this to a social care colleague their response

"That really made me laugh. Thank you. What makes me sad is that even a satirical jibe in support of social care (thank you NHS) reveals the NHS' own weakness. It still hasn't cottoned on to the fact that social care doesn't just mean social workers and local authorities."

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Apr 17, 2020 03:55 PM

A very fair point (and thank your colleague for making it). I can't speak for the NHS but I agree that lack of understanding of what social care really does and means is probably rife. Perhaps instead of "recognising" social care's contribution through a "brand" - and I hope you and your colleague realise that the satirical jibe was prompted by a real DHSC press release - we need to be working on recognition in the wider sense

Anonymous says:
Apr 17, 2020 04:26 PM

agreed (and that's before we start talking about the VCSE sector) - & yes got the DHSC link - the first of these blogs that I read was so close to the CCG email I had just received I nearly had a Spinal Tap moment.

Jenny Newman
Jenny Newman says:
May 15, 2020 09:18 AM

When is the next blog planned? I've missed this 'W1A' humour. Another one soon please?

John Hudson
John Hudson says:
Aug 01, 2020 02:49 PM

I've not seen anything from Julian Patterson since April 2020. This man is a national asset - I do hope he is ok. Please resume this highly valued national institution; the blog has become irredeemably dull without his thought-provoking contributions.