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Mad dogs



It’s summer, so the Practical Commissioning editor has been reading and discussing a word or two

Back from the hols, so time to catch up on the reading.

The consultation documents from the DH about the white paper were fairly pain-free. Interesting bits I noticed was fact that consortia are going to have to commission mental health. Anyone else grasped that yet? That’s huge and there’s not even a tariff yet for mental health.

They’re also going to have the budget for community services. Again, absolutely huge and no tariff.

Then onto a good analysis of the White Paper put together by Conservatives, The Bow Group.

I particularly like the line pointing out that with 40,000 managers now in the NHS that’s one for every 10 nurses. C-razy.

Then I ploughed my way through the transcript of a Westminster Health Forum conference on world class commissioning that I wanted to go to but didn’t have time before I went on hols. Former director general of commissioning Mark Britnell had not allowed his transcript to be used which was a shame.

Have to be honest and say I was merely glossing over the rest of the speakers but found two interesting bits.

First was, NHS Confederation’s David Stout saying the best GP consortiums will be better than the best PCTs. Optimism indeed.

The second bit that made me smile was from Conservative health adviser and GP, Dr Paul Charlson.

‘I think it is about will GPs step up to the plate, will the dogs bark? And I think looking in the eye of some of my colleagues they are already starting to bark, but a hell of a lot of them barked a long time ago and have just given up barking and whether they will start barking again I think it is going to be quite a while. And then there’s another group who aren’t really interested in barking at all and whether they ever will. So I think the big challenge is, is it going to happen, are we actually going to drive this forward.’

Glad we booked him for the NAPC annual conference now. He doesn’t seem to be one to hold back, going on to question GPs treating ‘trivia’ like sore throats when they earn £100,000 a year. Good point.

Reading over and time for an editorial meeting. We don’t have these very often, but it’s August so what the hell. The agenda had one item – should we or shouldn’t we change our style for the plural of consortium from ‘consortiums’ to ‘consortia’.

Apparently we had a letter about it from a GP and in some dictionaries it says ‘consortia’, in others ‘consortiums’.

Let me tell you there are wordsmiths out there called sub-editors who would pay hard cash to come to a meeting to discuss whether another Latin word should be allowed to creep into our English language.

I will never be a sub.

I put my twopenneth in and said the word on ‘the street’ being used by GPs was consortia and our style should reflect that.

Meeting was coming to an end and I hadn’t said much. Come on, think of something to say

‘I’ll write a blog about the word change..’ .

Editor, Sue McNulty