HCL Issue 10 - Page 34

34 INSIGHT Cut the crap: an alternative glossary of NHS jargon If you’ve ever felt perplexed by NHS parlance, we’re here to help. Léa Legraien unravels healthcare’s most hideous buzzwords s if understanding the way our healthcare system works isn’t taxing enough, deciphering NHS jargon only makes things worse. Bottoming out, burning platform and blue-sky thinking are just a few examples of the numerous health and social care terms that could make people lose their minds. Here at Healthcare Leader, we’ve decided it’s time to stop jargonising the way we talk about health and start cutting the crap. We took 10 NHS buzzwords and tried to squeeze some sense out of them. A 1 Lift and shift DEFINITION The term comes from the computing world. The technology giant IBM defined ‘lift and shift’ as ‘a migration strategy that usually uses migration tools to replicate existing IBM Cognos Series 7 applications in IBM Cognos Business Intelligence, without redesigning the application’. Thanks, IBM, very helpful. Following the appointment of Dr Karen Kirkham as the new national clinical adviser for primary care last year, NHS England said the responsibilities of her role included lifting and shifting ‘successful models’ of innovation across the country. Healthcare Leader 2019 Issue 10 CUTTING THE CRAP In simpler words, the action of lifting and shifting is like the function of a forklift, moving material from one place to another. IS IT USEFUL? Only if you need to move a pallet. Why not use ‘migration’ instead? Key to irritation 1 Useful idea, stupid name 2 Just annoying 3 Please stop using IRRITATION LEVEL 2 2 Belt and braces approach DEFINITION Belts and braces can be quite literal: a Google Images search will, for example, mostly show you pictures of actual belts and braces, designed to hold someone’s trousers up. But add the word ‘approach’ to the two words and the expression takes on a whole new meaning. It becomes a piece of jargon describing an action that is carried out with caution by using two different means to achieve a set goal. CUTTING THE CRAP Although we agree that it is important to be careful when implementing a change, we suspect that people using the metaphor just want to sound a bit fancy. 3 Sweat the assets DEFINITION We’re not sure where to start with this one. Does the sweat part allude to some type of intensive yoga on a ward? Who knows. In one document, NHS Supply Chain said that ‘organisations may sweat assets beyond the economic optimum particularly where capital funding is constrained’. Sweating the assets can be defined as extracting the maximum value from an asset, such as staff or services, instead of creating something new. CUTTING THE CRAP The action of sweating the assets can be compared to squeezing an orange for maximum juice. Wait, isn’t that already the meaning of terms such as ‘getting the most value’? IS IT USEFUL? Yes, if your trousers are too big. Please stick to ‘caution’ instead, thank you. IS IT USEFUL? No. Do not try to squeeze your employees. People are not like oranges. We repeat, people are not like oranges! IRRITATION LEVEL 1 IRRITATION LEVEL 3