Understanding NHS language

Nurses need Degrees


to understand NHS jargon

English: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

NHS jargon needs its own Ambulance Service (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


We may not be able to understand what doctors tell us – but spare a thought for NHS staff, who have to content with providing a ‘spectrum of adequacy’, when treating patients.

NHS Trusts are asking medics to provide this – but would you know what it is?

 The Plain English Campaign is gunning for the NHS, and its latest examples of mindless ‘officialese’.  In the running for ironic Awards is this gem from North Staffordshire, rejecting an application for a new pharmacy…..

There was not currently a gap on the spectrum of adequacy sufficient to conclude that the provision of pharmaceutical services is not currently secured to the standard of adequacy’.

 Er – wonder what that meant.

The invaluable website www.nhsmanagement.net  comments on the newly revised SHA guidance entitled ’12 hour trolley breach protocol, Version 3.0 updated November 2012′. 

 It contained the usual strong language and nonsensical directives to make hourly phone calls to on-call commissioning directors (they must love receiving these – provided they can get through).

 A full root cause analysis should be undertaken for all 12 hr trolley waits these should be submitted to the Commissioner and LAT within 72 hours of the incident. Any 12 hour trolley wait is not acceptable under any circumstances and CCG’s are expected to use whatever mechanisms are appropriate to penalise Trusts who allow such waits to happen.

 Does anyone in the NHS think that perhaps the medics looking after patients are looking for the best solution?  Reminds me of the time I visited Brasov Hospital in Romania, where a tin of baby powder was so precious it was kept under lock and key.  There, they really have to play ‘box and cox’ with patients, and no stupid directives to stop them from doing the best under trying circumstances.

But so far the top contenders in the Plain English Golden Bull Awards contain four ‘entries’ from NHS Trusts.  Seems patients are not the only ones who can’t understand what medics are saying.

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