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Urgent search underway for transformative name


Blog headlines

  • UK’s National Health Service teams up with the Radio Society of Great Britain to improve health and wellbeing
    4 March 2021

    This week's blog is by Paul Devlin, Emergency Care Improvement Support Team (ECIST), NHS England and NHS Improvement.

  • Structuring a PCN Social Prescribing Service for the post COVID world
    25 February 2021

    This week we have a blog by Nick Sharples.

  • Community-Oriented Integrated Care
    18 February 2021

    The blog this week is a short extract from a paper considering an approach primary care networks could use to move towards community-oriented integrated care.

  • Strategy Unit releases opensource model for planning vaccine centre capacity
    11 February 2021

    This week's blog is from The Strategy Unit who are sharing an opensource model to help with vaccine centre capacity planning.

  • Time to talk day
    4 February 2021

    A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.

  • Supporting Staff: the emergence of ‘long-covid’
    28 January 2021

    As we are now well into a second, or is it now the third, wave of Covid-19 it is becoming apparent that Covid is something we have not experienced before and it has unique implications for staff management. It is not just the possibility that staff may become acutely ill with the virus, but that for some they may go on to develop persistent debilitating symptoms that will affect their ability to go back to work. This article looks at the implications of long-covid for HR and service managers when looking to support health care professionals (HCPs) return to work.

  • 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.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Urgent search underway for transformative name

The NHS is about to be plunged into the deepest crisis in its nearly 70 year history, as time runs out to find the right name for an imaginary well-organised and logical version of itself.

NHS bosses are worried that without memorable and consistent names for barmy initiatives, unfeasible contracting arrangements and vague aspirations, all attempts at meaningful and lasting reform are destined to fail.

A number of names have been tried for medium to large-scale integrated care organisations, including vanguard, pioneer, multispecialty community provider (MCP), primary and acute care system (PACS), integrated care organisation (ICO), accountable care organisation (ACO), sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) and current favourite accountable care system (ACS). Even names appealing to children have been tried, such as primary care home (PCH), which implies that general practice “at scale” could evolve from Lego.

But NHS England admits that none of them are working. A spokesperson said:  “We see little sign that services are becoming more integrated, safer, more efficient, adequately staffed or particularly well led. Everything points to a problem with the branding.”

Even some of the most promising names have been a source of disappointment. The Five Year Forward View was initially praised for its alliteration and driving 4/4 beat, but most of all for its bold refusal to be pigeon-holed as “a plan”. But the 2019 use-by date was a schoolboy error, say critics, who point out that the authors of World Class Commissioning and Transforming Community Services sensibly avoided dates or commitments of any kind.

“New care models” is another term with initial promise but shelf-life issues. NHS England is still wrestling with the problem of when and how to replace the "new" prefix. Lawyers have advised against the use of "proven" or anything with "evidence based" in the title.

Joint naming initiatives involving the NHS and local government have also fared badly. “Integration Transformation Fund was a terrible name, but after months of deliberation the best they could come up with was Better Care Fund. No wonder the best part of £6bn was wasted,” said one health policy analyst.  

An NHS-wide competition has been launched to find the right name forever (RNF), while a new strategic nomenclature and nuancing unit (SNNU) has been set up to co-ordinate the search, evaluate potential candidates and consult on their possible implementation.

Regional naming authorities (RNAs) will work with STPs to consider possible local variations. Clinical advisory boards (CABs) will ensure that no new names are agreed without input from doctors, nurses, royal colleges and professional bodies.

Finding sustainable and transformative names remains one of the most pressing problems for the NHS. Experts agree that excessive use of terminology in previous decades has created a critical shortage of new names and reduced opportunities for recycling old ones.

As one expert put it: “It’s no longer just a matter of struggling to find the right names, we need to face up to the fact that we’re close to running out of names altogether. That won’t affect operation of NHS frontline services, but it could have a devastating effect on strategy, horizon scanning, improvement initiatives, change programmes, leadership development and other mission-critical functions.” 

Editor: Julian Patterson


Anonymous says:
Sep 22, 2017 12:11 PM

One of the most brilliant things I've ever read.

Jon Collins
Jon Collins says:
Sep 22, 2017 02:04 PM

Sustainable Healthcare Integration Teams
Caring Resource Acute Provider
Primary Resource Integrated Care Service

David G Smithard
David G Smithard says:
Sep 22, 2017 04:15 PM

I guess we should get an agency in to advice. Kent have already wasted in excess of £3 million on outside consultants.

Andrew Rix
Andrew Rix says:
Sep 23, 2017 09:51 PM

Churchill referred to his strategy as 'keep buggering on'; fuelled by a strong commitment to 'divide and rule' and paying for the second world war with borrowings from the Americans under 'lend lease'.Ring any bells? The NHS manages to survive and provide a good service (mostly) by threatening to integrate whilst promoting competition and all with no new money. KBO probably too offensive now but Incomprehensible National Organisation for Muddling Through till something or other turns up (INOFoMuSTop) might adequately describe NHS strategic thinking while adding to the useless acronyms patients are supposed to understand in order to access services.

rogier koning
rogier koning says:
Sep 25, 2017 12:19 PM

Just adopt my project, it already has the perfect name: nobism

Latin, meaning: us / for us
Short for Medical

Sp perfect from a patient point of view.

Anonymous says:
Oct 11, 2017 11:00 AM

Everyone's Healthcare Service - EHS
The Peoples Healthcare Service - TPHS
Healthcare For Everyone - HFE