In his inimitable style, Roy Lilley comes up with terminology to describe the extraordinary statement from Jeremy Hunt (our [in]famous Minister of Health) – Roy calls it ‘duck-shove’:

Reading Lilley’s comments on the report, highlights the absurdity of pronouncements from Whitehall, thinking they can disguise their ignorance by using words to confuse – but when you get such an analysis it only shows Hunt’s office hasn’t a clue:

If you thought the Mental Health Workforce Plan, published yesterday, was the strategic blue-print to finding 21,000 new staff in about 48 months, you’d be wrong.
It is the most cunningly worded duck-shove I’ve seen for a long time.  It is subtitled; ‘A report from HEE to support the delivery…’
‘A report to support’… actually, duck-shoving…
Thirty seven pages of ‘If somebody does this, we might get that…’
I was just about to write; ‘how it ever got across the Tinkerman’s (Hunt’s) desk, I’ll never know’… but, of course, I do know….
He has no more idea how to find that many skilled workers in the time available than I do. Nor, I suspect, you do.  Nor anyone…  
He’s not called Jeremy Hunt for nothing; he is hunting nurses, healthcare assistants, cadavers, anyone to make up the numbers.
But for the fact that it describes our workforce predicament with absolute accuracy, this report is worthless…  thirty seven pages of blah, blah, incomprehensible graphics and duck-shoving.
Here is a selection from the report;
A successful transition from central funding by HEE, to localised funding by CCGs, will be key to achieving the 2020 ambition’.
You can guess what CCGs will do with extra cash and it wont have much to do with training.  And if it isn’t successful?
These changes are expected to lead to significant cost savings due to reduced healthcare demand in other areas, such as unplanned/urgent care, short stay admissions and prescribing medication….’
Oh really, reducing demand!  And if we can’t?
There are 38,000 registered OT’s… it is not possible to know how many of these are working within MH…’
If we don’t know how many we’ve got, how do we know how many we want?
Psychological wellbeing practitioners… trained… but not through traditional… routes’.
Amazon delivery, maybe?
We expect local systems to learn from each other and consider how best to deliver the required improvements.’  Does that sound like a plan to you, or duck-shoving?
Local providers and commissioners will need to understand the different variables at play, and take targeted action to ensure they have enough staff with the right skills in the right place…’
It’s estimated employers will source 18,000 non-clinical support staff through local labour markets to replace staff who leave…’
Oh really!  Raising duck-shoving to a new art form.
No single part of the system holds all the levers necessary to implement this workforce plan…’
Ooops and I thought it was a report?
Dept Health will explore the opportunities from the Naylor Review and the potential to improve access to NHS accommodation for MH staff…’
48 months to ‘explore’, untangle ownership, get a design, apply for a planning consent, sort out the financing, tender for a developer, do a deal, build and move in… who will do it? Duck-shove.
We will need to source some key skilled workers from the global market…’
Fine but don’t tell the Barmy Brexit Brigade in the Cabinet.
STP plans should include how they intend to re-skill the existing workforce to help transform…’
Duck-shoving at its best.
See, not a strategy, not a plan, not a programme, not an agenda, not a policy just a list and a duck-shove.


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