150,800 members

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


The digital voice of Blithering


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, 20 October 2016

The digital voice of Blithering

The @Blithering Twitter account, which goes live this week, promises to lift the lid on the local health service.

Each week a different patient or frontline professional will curate the account, selecting the very best health related tweets to share with @Blithering’s literally tens of followers.

The authentic grassroots community resource is the brainchild of director of digital experience and footprint engagement Martin Plackard.

He said: “Hospital beds, A&E departments and doctors are all very well, but what really matters to ordinary people is having a voice – and for a generation that grew up with Tetris and the dial-up modem, that means we have to be on the latest social media platforms.”

“@Blithering is by Blithering for Blithering”, Plackard said, promising that there would be no censorship of posts or attempts by NHS Blithering top brass to influence the content.

The Blithering comms team has produced a light touch guidance document – An Operating Framework for Social Media Engagement (Twitter Edition) 2016/17: Towards Spontaneity – but “compliance is optional”, Plackard said. 

“This initiative will fail if it is in any way seen as top down. That’s why our guest curators will be genuine frontline professionals like Dr David Rummage and Dr Liz Wanhope, plus some patients hand-picked for their ordinariness,” he said.

The CCG would only intervene to block trolls or those engaging in abusive behaviour, Plackard said.

“People need to know that this is a safe space. A lot of people are anxious about engaging on social media, so we need to reassure them that it’s never acceptable to abuse someone just because they happen to sit on the board of the local trust.”

Not everyone has welcomed the latest Blithering innovation.

Leader of the local council Alan Spume told the Argus that @Blithering was “the worst kind of tokenism, a waste of public money when services are on their knees, and arguably the most pointless and patronising idea to come out of the CCG since the Blithering Citizen Ceefax service”.

Dismissing Councillor Spume’s remarks as “nit picking”, Plackard insisted that @Blithering had been agreed only after extensive consultation with local people.

He cited the annual Blithering Involvement Survey, which asks the community how involved they feel and what more could be done to involve them.  Asked to choose between the new Twitter account and a post-apocalyptic future without food, running water and access to basic services, a remarkable 98% of people opted for more social media, focus groups and surveys.

“With services under strain, people are clamouring for opportunities to work with local health leaders to co-produce integrated place-based and person-centric community facing solutions in a collaborative way”, Plackard said.

He used the example of patients facing a nine hour wait to be seen in A&E. “Instead of looking at a three year-old copy of Heat magazine or shouting at reception staff, people will now be able to share their constructive ideas for service improvement via @Blithering.”

The NHS is 68.

Digital curator: NHS Networks


Anonymous says:
Oct 21, 2016 09:26 AM

@Blithering has been suspended! Already. So we won't get to see Dr. David Rummage's favourite tweets on completely legal offshore accounting practices next week.

Anonymous says:
Oct 21, 2016 09:29 AM

Surely we missed the chance for the Twitter handle to be @BlitheringmeansBlithering

Anonymous says:
Oct 21, 2016 10:27 AM

Fear not - in true SocMe stylie @Blithering has re-emerged as an underground account @UnderBlithering

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Oct 21, 2016 01:35 PM

Dear all - thank you for your support. We are not at liberty to disclose why @Blithering has been blocked but certain arm's length bodies, the Russians and Donald Trump's campaign team have all been lobbying hard. So much for transparency.
pp D Rummage