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NHS Networks Blog July 2013

No sign of uplift in real terms

Last week’s deep dive into NHS jargon barely scratched the surface. It turns out that we left a raft of management-speak competencies off the radar. So in the interests of thought leadership we’re returning to the subject armed with the outputs from a truly meaningful service user engagement.

We asked you to horizon scan for exemplars of soft intelligence and you really took ownership of the problem. The resulting co-production could not only drive a step-change in best practice, it could be a complete game changer. Let’s drill down to the key deliverables starting with the low-hanging fruit.

Balancing the scorecard

When all your budgets are being ring-fenced, don’t make the mistake of salami-slicing or cookie-cutting your way out of trouble. You won’t get much leverage out of a large sausage or a packet of biscuits.

Just because your real-terms uplift has turned into a £30bn shortfall doesn’t mean you’re in a zero-sum game. Think positive, think win-win scenario. You can operate within the financial envelope and still embrace innovation.

Visioning tools

For NHS staff living through a perfect storm in a cold climate, a burning platform is a beacon of hope.

But if you’re having trouble getting buy-in for your vision it’s probably because you forgot to put a premium on quality, excellence or success. No self-respecting stakeholder will invest in shoddy, unprofitable ideas.

When working across the piece, you’ll need the right tools including levers of change, an adjustable boundary spanner and something for cross-cutting any challenging agendas that get in your way.

Going forward

We are where we are, but if we’re not sure exactly where that is we’ll need a roadmap, plenty of signposting and some clear milestones. If our data can’t be triangulated within the available timeframe, establish a baseline and set a new strategic direction.

It’s a complex landscape and it’s changing, so you’re going to need transport to get around. Only a credible vehicle with critical mass will gain traction but it will need pump-priming first.

If you’re not happy with the direction of travel, you’re struggling with alignment or you’re worried that the wheels are about to come off, it may be safer to put the patient in the driving seat – properly equipped with a belt and braces, of course.

Rewarding success

Finally, we don’t have the bandwidth to thank everyone who helped us compile this narrative of NHS nonsense at scale and pace. Their comments can be found on last week’s blog. The winning entry came from Rich Anderson, who asked politely for a signpost to the synergy meeting and a copy of the transformation plan proforma.

Rich, we have no desire to aggravate your condition, so a sensible book is in the post instead.

Embedded values editor: Julian Patterson

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