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Toast

 

Blog headlines

  • 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.

  • My amazing Twitter year – by Matt Hancock
    20 December 2019

    It's been a fantastic year on social media for the secretary of state for health and the other thing. Here it is in very nearly his own words

  • Sustainability and transformation parties: mandatory guidance
    5 December 2019

    As Christmas fast approaches, system leaders are getting ready for so-called sustainability and transformation parties, the highlight of the year for those who enjoy kinky integration with strangers.

  • All the latest health policy news from the general **** campaign
    29 November 2019

    Because purdah is still in force, this week’s **** has been heavily redacted. Here are the main parties’ plans for government as set out in their manifestos. A full unexpurgated version can be obtained from **** Party HQ.

  • New outfit more splendidly integrated than ever
    21 November 2019

    The emperor has announced plans for yet another new outfit, amid claims that this one will be even more splendid than the last.

  • Purdah – guidance for professionals
    15 November 2019

    After Christmas and the HSJ Awards, purdah is Martin Plackard’s favourite time of year.

  • Tools honoured in Blithering awards
    8 November 2019

    The Blithering Celebrating Success Awards are always eagerly anticipated. Every November, they recognise the commitment and dedication of people who put other people at the heart of everything they do before going the extra mile in their shoes. They also reflect the passionate belief of the organisers, Spume Media, in an awards-led approach to healthcare improvement science.

  • Provisional findings of the interim report
    31 October 2019

    The programme delivery group at One Blithering, the emergent NHS Blithering integrated care system, has published an interim report containing the provisional findings of a year-long strategic review.

  • Toast
    25 October 2019

    "The biggest complaint about the NHS which is beloved by everyone is about the food, and the biggest complaint about the food is about the lack of toast.”

  • Plackard’s misdirection and a victory for old power
    17 October 2019

    In which no one can find Plackard's signposting event, an old foe returns from his past and Sir Trevor Longstay loses interest in compassion

  • Sir Trevor defends revolving door
    4 October 2019

    Sir Trevor Longstay has hit out at proposals designed to make it harder for failed NHS directors to get new jobs with no questions asked.

  • The Blithering ICS newsletter
    26 September 2019

    Every month, the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Blithering ICS, All of Us Blithering Together, publishes a strategic briefing for stakeholders.

  • Is obeying the law bad for your health?
    13 September 2019

    (With apologies to Private Eye’s A Doctor)

  • The innovation greenhouse
    5 September 2019

    Faced with ordinary problems that they cannot solve – lack of funds, staff shortages, rising demand, falling morale (you know the ones) – our leaders propose extraordinary solutions.

  • The inclusivity summit
    15 August 2019

    As ever, Sir Trevor Longstay knew exactly what he wanted. “This has to be an exclusive event. I want all the right people there – and a decent lunch. See to it Plackard,” he said.

  • Old Matt, new Matt: Mr Hancock’s diary
    8 August 2019

    Proud to be in Boris’s cabinet but a bit peeved to be back at Health and the Other Thing. BJ hinted at the Home Office or the Foreign Office but I gather he said that to everyone.

  • The people's druggist
    1 August 2019

    The NHS is to recruit more than 1000 social apothecaries to work in primary care networks.

  • NHS Frameworx promises 'relentless focus on tools'
    25 July 2019

    NHS England and Improvement has created NHS Frameworx, a semi-autonomous delivery unit for toolkit innovation and best practice.

 
 
Friday, 25 October 2019

Toast

"The biggest complaint about the NHS which is beloved by everyone is about the food, and the biggest complaint about the food is about the lack of toast.”

So wrote the food writer Prue Leith, who last week blamed draconian health and safety rules for the disappearance of toast from many hospital menus.

Her remarks caused a sensation. First there was the shock of discovering that after all the worries about staffing, funding and Brexit, dire warnings of a bleak winter for emergency departments and the persistence of numerous public health crises (obesity, mental health, antimicrobial resistance), that the NHS faces an existential threat that no one had properly considered.

Secondly was the reaction of the system as NHS England and Improvement, under pressure from the Department of Health and Social Care, rushed out guidance to restore public confidence in the NHS.

The At-a-glance Toast Checker (ATC), modelled on the Bristol Stool Chart, provides a visual aid for planning and quality assurance. Hospital staff will be encouraged to work with patients to agree the ideal colour, texture and serving temperature of their toast.

Top sliced

Simon Stevens said he would “work tirelessly to ensure that everyone has a person-centred toast experience”. He promised that the centre would roll out personal toast budgets (PTBs) by 2023, allowing patients to choose their health provider based on their preferred toast colour. PTBs are to be funded by top-slicing existing commissioning budgets.

A leading GP warned that the scheme could face practical difficulties: "We’ve been piloting personal toast budgets for a while. They led to more control and higher satisfaction, but we had to call a halt when someone used their budget to buy tea cakes.”

Existing regulations are to be amended to enable GPs to offer patients more choice when referring them to secondary care services. Leading think tank the Nuffield Crust cautioned that the proposed “any toast provider” rules could make it harder to implement integrated care and could increase procurement costs.

Choice agenda

NHS England and Improvement said it would launch a procurement framework to create a “level playing field for providers and enable NHS organisations a wide choice of value for money, quality assured pre-toast [bread]” but independent bakeries warned that the framework would be dominated by the “big four” – Hovis, Warburtons, Kingsmill and Tesco.

Hospital catering staff and nurses’ leaders expressed reservations about the impact of hurriedly drafted toast preparation provisions in forthcoming workplace health and safety standards. This could mean up to three nurses on every ward involved in the daily toast round – one to restock the toaster, one to monitor quality and collect feedback forms, and one with specialist electrical and fire safety training to tackle any small fires.

NHS leaders are privately concerned that the national toast policy will increase the regulatory burden on hospitals, following the news that the Care Quality Commission plans to introduce a new “well-fed” domain to its existing inspection regime.

Implementation and spread

Others have criticised the policy for being too closely geared to hospitals. GPs and voluntary sector leaders questioned why there was no mention of primary care and community services and pointed to research showing that most people preferred to access toast locally, preferably in their own homes.

Simon Stevens said he had listened to the concerns of colleagues but added:  “If we want to make the NHS a global leader in the provision of toast-based services, the whole system will need to embrace innovation. Parts of the NHS already make world-class toast, but now we need to focus our efforts on implementation and spread.” 

Editor: Julian Patterson

Acknowledgement: With thanks to those on Twitter whose gags were stolen for this week's blog. 

julian.patterson@networks.nhs.uk
@NHSnetworks  

 
Lynne Chellingworth
Lynne Chellingworth says:
Oct 26, 2019 08:02 AM

I’m infatuated (it’s always you, Julian) with this week’s offering. Having laughed at Twitter with all the toast jokes, you’ve brought it all together in one handy toast based newsletter. Thank you.

Anonymous says:
Oct 28, 2019 08:59 AM

Fabulous! Thank you for the laugh out loud moment.

Anonymous says:
Oct 28, 2019 09:52 AM

Oh my word, tissues please - our entire team are crying! Esp. The CQC ‘well fed’ domain!!!

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson says:
Oct 28, 2019 09:56 AM

Sir Trevor Longstay commented as follows: I believe passionately in Toast as a super food and in response have already tasked Plackard with establishing a Task & Finish Group to look at getting a campaign going. They have already sent me with their initial slogan: - 'We are Toast!' - Its short, its punchy and gets right to the point. I like it! :)

Nicola Smith
Nicola Smith says:
Oct 28, 2019 10:57 AM

I feel like Victoria Coren-Mitchell's fan on 'Would I Lie to You'- I laughed that much I nearly ended up on a ward. Problem is we're on 'Full Capacity Plan' so I'll just look on the NHS website for advice...

Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson says:
Oct 29, 2019 09:37 AM

News just in: According to a inside source, the Transatlantic Toast and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are preparing to lodge an appeal against being locked out of toast supply in the NHS, more soon.