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We’re Blithering


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Friday, 4 August 2017

We’re Blithering

A personal message from Martin Plackard, NHS Blithering’s director of person-centredness and digital intimacy

Dear Stakeholder, Citizen, Patient, Carer, Friend, Family Member or Colleague

Welcome to the latest edition of We’re Blithering. The quarterly e-bulletin is our opportunity to share with you the latest exciting plans for your local NHS. It’s also your opportunity to hold us to account and make your voice heard.

According to NHS England figures, Blithering is one of the best places to get ill. Going forward we intend to make it one of the best places to get better too.

Remarkable statistics

Here are some remarkable statistics from the recent Blithering Patient Survey:  

  • 98% of residents said they would sooner access NHS services in Blithering than travel to another country for treatment
  • 87% said they were able to get an appointment with a personal trainer or other health professional in the past 12 months. More than half had been able to speak to a GP by phone or view their details online
  • 76% of those who had heard of the STP thought it was doing anything up to a great job.

So all of the evidence points to very significant progress, but there is still more to do. As the searching review by independent think tank the Rummage Trust put it recently, “There has been significant progress, but more still needs to be done”.

The analysis by Dr Rummage and his team informed the refresh of the Blithering Forward View, entitled Next Horizons, where we’ve been able to realign some of the key goalposts to the needs of the changing playing field landscape and the capabilities of the main players.

Next Horizons sets out three core priorities for the future: to identify the issues, address the barriers and exceed expectations. We’ll be publishing a robust evaluation framework for these goals in due course. 

Underarching objectives

Underneath the overarching aims were a number of detailed proposals and recommendations, or underarching objectives. They include the sale of non-essential hospital property including buildings, land and staff, which is long overdue as services move into the community. As Blithering’s primary care develops at-scale capability to include mole removal, treatment for varicose veins and car parking, fears about the closure of A&E and outpatient departments will prove to be unfounded.

Selling off surplus capacity will be good news for local businesses and jobs, enabling the construction of a new distribution centre for local employer Rumstrad Electronics, for example.


Demolition of the maternity and paediatric units could also help us avoid the potential embarrassment and expense of replacing the chipboard based fire-retardant cladding installed by our PFI contractors.

Workforce remains our number one priority. We recognise particularly the value of the work done by our nurses, but as the secretary of state Mr Hunt put it so well on the radio earlier this week, we also have to respect the decisions of the independent pay review body HM Treasury.

Mr Hunt also promised to recruit a further 21,000 frontline professionals in mental health. This is very welcome news. Mental health services in Blithering have been under increasing strain from delusional people claiming to have seen thousands of new GPs entering training following Mr Hunt’s last imaginary job-creation scheme.

Parity of enthusiasm

We take parity of esteem very seriously but we’ll also be looking to recruit professionals that offer the best value for money to the taxpayer. This will include the new role of Mental Health Enthusiast, which could suit school leavers, the long term unemployed or anyone with time on their hands.

We’ll update you on our progress towards each of these challenging goals in future editions of We’re Blithering. Meanwhile, please tell us what you think by visiting the “Have Your Say” page of our website, where we’ll have a form ready for your feedback very soon.

Newsletter editor: Julian Patterson


Judy Aldred
Judy Aldred says:
Aug 04, 2017 12:04 PM

Depressingly accurate!