Where did it all go wrong…

I thought Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, encouraging the House of Commons to vote to delay Article 50, Brexit blah, blah, only to vote against it was a remarkable spectacle. There again, the whole of Brexit has been a remarkable spectacle and becoming more spectacularly remarkable! • Setting a deadline without a plan how to […]


Where life may take you…

You are where you are. Is it where you want to be? Are you the kind of person who knew, from a very early age, what you wanted to be, focussed, achieved, got on and did it? The kind of person who always wanted to be a clinician. Bandaged up their wounded Teddy, got three […]

Too difficult…

The early morning sunlight blasted its way through the conservatory windows. It was as unexpected as it was welcome, as it was blinding. What are you supposed to expect from the weather in March? We pulled the curtains, sat in the shade and talked. Half a dozen of us talking about keeping people out of […]


Matt Hancock’s diary: winning over the nurses

Another big week for the secretary of state for health and social care, captured for posterity in his diary and shared exclusively with NHS Networks Big speech to the nurses’ conference later this week. Lucinda warns me they could turn nasty. They’re cross about pay, bursaries, staff shortages, Brexit and so on. Nothing I can’t […]


Sir James…

I have news. It’s not great news. Prepare yourself. DiDo thinks management culture in the NHS is rotten. That’s it then. The whole NHS management structure dismissed and traduced in one show-off moment at the Health Select Committee. Not some of the management, sometimes. No, it’s all rotten. So, to any managers reading this who […]



Oxymoron… Working-holiday, genuine-imitation, the same difference… we use them all the time. The word “oxymoron” is itself oxymoronic, which is to say, contradictory. The word is derived from two ancient Greek words oxys, which means “sharp,” and moronos, which means “dull”. Oxymorons sneak into the every-day, they go unnoticed; ‘This was a minor crisis and […]


Business as usual…

There are lots of reasons; • Not enough beds • Not enough nurses • Finding a consultant • Not enough doctors on the rota. • Delayed discharge Mainly it comes down to the people. Too many people waiting to be seen by too few people to do the seeing. Everything points in the direction of […]


Learn with Plackard: How to speak Weasel

Martin Plackard is universally acknowledged as the foremost public sector communicator of his generation. Here he provides a guide to the most useful terms every NHS communications professional should know. Strategy Vision – what good looks like and what better might look like in future, ideally captured in a clear and concise vision statement running […]

training primary care letter Baroness Dido Harding


DiDo is now head-honcho workforce. Repairing the neglect of recruitment, training and investment before the NHS collapses under its own weight. Her first public task is a letter. Here it is. Groan… Various themes and vacuous questions about the future of the workforce, and putative actions that will take us well into next year and […]



If you were going on an expensive holiday to somewhere exotic, how would you chose where to go? Would you knock on a door, in a street near you and ask the opinion of a complete stranger, regardless of whether or not, they had been there? Or, might you find someone who had and ask […]