The NHS speaks a language of its own


 Whenever I phone to make an appointment at London hospitals, I am asked “do you want an Interpreter?”  I am ofen tempted to say yes, as the NHS seems to speak a language of its own.  Doctors and Nurses have their own interpretation of the  

Here is my guide to current Acronyms and Jargon – with an explanation of what I THINK they mean

A.R.S.E.  Rumour has it there is an NHS Acronym Referral Site  – commonly known by this Acronym

Best practice =  cheaper option than using old way, which was probably ‘better’

CCG = Cynical Commissioning Group   (NHS will say Clinical Commissioning Group)*

Clinical Champion – The ones with clipboards who don’t know what’s what

Complaints   – the NHS has developed to a fine art writing three pages saying nothing  – so you might as well not bother

COWS  Computers on Wheels (those machines nurses wheel around the ward)

CQC = Careless Quality Commission  (Care Quality Commission)*

Contract Management = a.k.a Official in charge of Cutting back

Dignity – buzz word that sounds good but means nothing

In a meeting – He/she has two paid NHS jobs, but hasn’t arrived in to this office today

Mission statement – what the Chairman’s nephew comes up with when Uncle wants to make his mark – will cost a fortune to write across front of hospital but Chairman thinks it looks good

Moving forward – opposite of what happens after the hospital committee has put in ‘improvements’

NHS Choices – appointments office whose job it is to confuse;  Your appointment is so far in the future you decide to go privately, therefore taking you off the list and saving the NHS money.

Reducing Drug Spend = telling GPs to cut back on prescribing (why do you think it was suddenly realised that over-prescribing Antibiotics wasn’t such a good thing)

Service users– another term for patients. Sounds as if we are lumped in with cars being sent for annual MOTs. Perhaps this could explain some of our treatment

STP– Sticky Toffee Pudding OR  Sustainability and Transformation Plans – (Sticky is what they will turn out to be).

Stakeholder  – see above but can also be used to try and impress patients on NHS committees that they are important.

STAR-PUs – watch out if you ever see this written on your notes! Apparently it means ‘Specific therapeutic group age-sex prescribing units’. No-one knows what it means, but sounds nasty
Symbiotic monitoring system” and “synbiotix database” – jargon that fills out spaces in a report. You don’t need to know what it means – just where to insert
Team Player – phrase beloved of NHS. Team Players are expected to back up colleagues – in other words when someone is brave enough to whistleblow on bad practices, team players stand together, support each other and ignore what’s wrong.  In any ‘team’ meeting about a patient, patients are the last person you will ever see involved. See Mid-Staffs

Workaround =   mechanism for skirting around when producing explanations for unpopular initiatives.  Or as Liverpool MP Rosie Cooper says “a fiddle”                                                            .
World class – NHS word for “we hope to be on a par soon with Third world services

  • Taken from wonderful book ‘NHS FOR SALE’.

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