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The Longstay Plan


Blog headlines

  • Link of the week: Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR)
    21 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a link to the Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR) site that is funded by Health Education England.

  • So much more than an extra pair of hands
    14 January 2021

    The introduction of the additional roles reimbursement scheme for primary care networks has started to grow capacity in general practice to address the unsustainably high workload that has put so much pressure on GPs.

  • Primary Care Networks – how did we get here?
    7 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a blog by PCC’s chairman David Colin-Thomé.

  • A year like no other
    17 December 2020

    On 5 July 1948 the NHS was born, over the last 72 years challenges and changes have been remarkable but the service has probably never been tested as much as in the last nine months. There have previously been numerous re-organisations, multiple changes to hospitals, mental health services and a shift from the family doctor towards more integrated primary care services delivered by a range of professionals. However, rapid transformation of services to embrace digital technologies, and a shift change to work differently has been forced upon all areas of the health service this year.

  • Guest blog: David Hotchin
    11 December 2020

    This week we have a guest blog that was submitted to us by David Hotchin, written by a retired friend....obviously, he's used a little poetic licence.

  • What now for commissioning?
    3 December 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What White people don’t see
    26 November 2020

    This year’s Black History Month (BHM) has, unfortunately, in its shadow another example of why campaigns like this exist.

  • Primary Care: Why don’t we talk about Racism?
    20 November 2020

    Rita Symons is an ex NHS leader who is now a leadership consultant, coach and facilitator. Her work is mainly in the NHS and she is an associate for PCC offering facilitation, coaching, strategy development and team development activities. She is a concerned but hopeful world citizen and combines work in the NHS with a board role in a non for profit organisation and an interest in writing.

  • Primary Care and the Health of the Public
    12 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What now for primary care
    4 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • Boosting your resilience
    30 October 2020

    The last year has been a difficult one, who would have imagined last Christmas that we would have been in lockdown, with the NHS seriously tested by a global pandemic. So much change has happened and the resilience of people working in and with health and care services has been seriously tested. Resilience is our ability to deal with, find strengths in and/or recover from difficult situations. Its sometimes referred to as “bounceabiliy” – but bouncing in what way?

  • Link of the week: National Cholesterol Month
    23 October 2020

    Every month or week of the year seems to be an awareness week, October has more than its fair share.

  • New redeployment service offers talent pool of motivated, work-ready individuals
    15 October 2020

    People 1st International have shared some of the work they are doing to support people displaced from industries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is an opportunity for health and care services to benefit from this workforce.

  • Link of the week
    9 October 2020

    Article published in the BMJ looking at the ability of the health service to quickly bounce back to pre-Covid levels of activity and considers if it is desirable.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    2 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    1 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article - Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective.

  • Celebrating innovation in eye research
    24 September 2020

    This week Julian Jackson from VisionBridge has shared a report on eye research.

  • Link of the week: Comprehensive Spending Review and Covid-19
    24 September 2020

    This week we are sharing a blog that outlines the funding pressures and uncertainties faced by the health and care system

  • Risk stratifying elective care patients
    10 September 2020

    This blog has been shared by MBI healthcare technologies. As services are starting to treat routine patients those on waiting lists are making enquiries as to where they are on the list, and if they are still on the list.

  • Link of the week
    4 September 2020

    This week the link we would like to share are reflections from physiotherapy students on placement at Alzheimer Scotland https://letstalkaboutdementia.wordpress.com/

Friday, 11 May 2018

The Longstay Plan

“We have to act now,” said Sir Trevor Longstay, banging his fist on the table and sending a plate of custard creams flying in all directions.

News had broken that Jeremy Hunt meant to publish a new ten year plan to coincide with the NHS’s 70th birthday.

Sir Trevor looked round the table. Several heads were nodding.  

“How soon can we have our own plan ready?” he asked.

“But why?” asked Rummage. “What possible use would it be?”

“Because if Whitehall has a plan it’s only a matter of time before we’re told to come up with our own damn fool plans. We need to be on the front foot. If we have a credible looking document out early we’ll be at the head of the queue for NHS birthday handouts,” said Sir Trevor.

Building on success

Liz Wanhope, acting deputy accountable officer at the Blithering Integrated Care System, looked up from the task of picking broken pieces of biscuit from her lap. “We already have the Blithering Forward View,” she said.

“Is that still going?” asked Sir Trevor. “Well it’s ditched now. This plan can build on its success, apply the lessons learnt, carry on the progress made and so on. It’s good practice to start a new plan before the old one runs out – avoids awkward questions.”

Wanhope pointed out that a packed agenda of birthday celebrations had already been agreed, including a number of high-impact spontaneous actions organised by the Mod Institute and its dynamic leader Bev Heaver.

Blithering’s transformation director planned to stage a mock invasion of an operating theatre with giant cardboard lightbulbs to inspire the surgical team to “keep shining a light on safety issues”, though she had eventually been dissuaded from her original idea of involving a real patient undergoing life-saving surgery and a photographer from the Argus in the stunt.

Not for the first time, she complained, paternalistic notions of infection control were getting in the way of progress.

Cakeholder buy-in

No such objection had marred the centrepiece of Heaver’s plan, a competition in which dementia patients would vie to bake a “cake of change” with first prize going to the one with the most fully integrated ingredients and stakeholder buy-in. 

After reviewing the rest of the Blithering Change Week agenda, the board were anxious. Even the surprise visit from Simon Stevens to open the Blithering Healthy New Town development could no longer be relied upon for positive PR.

The carefully co-ordinated event was beginning to unravel after a row with main sponsor Bernard Matthews about renaming the local primary school. A handful of local troublemakers had complained that the Turkey Twizzlers Healthy Living Academy for Younger People sent out mixed signals, and the killjoys in public health had intervened to put a stop to it.

All that was now left for Simon to open was a small patch of wasteland which had been designated a “community wellbeing space”. Blithering’s drug users and hookers had been asked to stay away until after Simon’s visit but there was still an unnerving risk of something going wrong.

Everyone quickly reached the view what was needed was a large and impressive document with lots of photos, big type and ordinary people “telling their stories”. Sir Trevor delivered the last point with evident distaste. He tolerated ordinary people but thought they should not be encouraged.  

The board lost no time in agreeing that there was only one man for the job of pulling together Blithering’s ten year plan.

“Get Plackard in here,” said Sir Trevor.

Travelling at pace

Martin Plackard, who had been waiting outside the door, counted to three before pushing it open with the toe of a pointy shoe. He entered the meeting travelling at pace.

He was already talking before he reached the flipchart. “Obviously the first thing we’ll need is a robust title,” he said, twirling an indelible marker with the skill of a drum majorette.

“Initial thoughts, Plackard?” barked Sir Trevor.

“It’s got to say sustainable, innovative, digital, compassionate, joined up, collaborative, transparent, high-quality, patient-centred, locally determined, clinically driven, stakeholder led community based movement,” Plackard said, scrawling on the flipchart, which he also decorated with random circles and arrows.

“That covers just about everything,” said Sir Trevor.

“And promises nothing,” added Rummage.

Plackard acknowledged both contributions with his marker pen. “Precisely that. Everything and yet nothing.”

“As for the title,” he continued, “I think we could do worse than The Longstay Plan, perhaps with the subtitle A Fully Integrated Digital Future for All.”

Britain’s first knight of clinical waste slapped the table, showering the Blithering leadership team in biscuit crumbs for the second time in one morning. This time it was not displeasure.

“I may have underestimated you, Plackard,” said Sir Trevor warmly.

Minute taker: Julian Patterson


Anonymous says:
May 11, 2018 04:09 PM

My last task of the day has been to read this informative document. I think some of my senior colleagues who recently featured in the BBC2 documentary "Hospital" would have a lot to learn from Blithering, who seem to have fully grasped the nettle and will the bright future of the NHS.
Brilliant, as ever