NHS communications in poor health

Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton, has rightly savaged NHS Greater Manchester’s hideous and gobbledygook-ridden ‘Healthier Together: Strategic Direction Case’ document.

Mr Stringer describes the paper as “tripe dissolved in twaddle” and goes on to deride it as “the most incomprehensible, opaque and jargon-ridden document I have read in the last 30 years.”

He adds: “The person who wrote it should be sent on a plain English course immediately, unless of course the whole intention was to keep secret the intent to make cuts.”

Perhaps this is the case?

After casting our eyes over the paper, we can only second Mr Stringer’s findings. The document is atrociously reliant on jargon and ‘in house’ impenetrable waffle and is in dire need of a serious rewrite.

The paper aims to be part of a ‘…wider review of Health and Social care in Greater Manchester aimed at saving and improving thousands of lives every year.’

How will it do this? Here’s just one of the examples: ‘Recap the goals and objectives of the programme which will result in a recommendation on the future shape of health and social care services in Greater Manchester. This will lead to a public consultation exercise on the proposals which will be undertaken collectively, on behalf of the wider system, by local Clinical Commissioning Groups.’

Otherwise known as: ‘Speak to the public about how we can improve.’

Worse still is the following: ‘There will be some financial considerations around the transition, including the need for some capital investment in estates where needed and the release of estates where they are not fit for purpose as well as double running costs as we seamlessly switch from old to new ways of working. Some pump priming will be needed to make this happen, but this will be offset by the longer term financial savings.’

Otherwise known as …meaningless drivel.

“We would like to know how much this awful report cost the NHS to carelessly put together,” asks Plain English founder Chrissie Maher.
“It’s one of the worst things I’ve seen in a good while, the people of Greater Manchester deserve far better and it’s a runaway favourite for a 2013 Golden Bull award.”

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