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The Christmas Forward View

Dr Richard Cook BLOG_duo_3x2.

How was 2018 for you? Sat on enough committees? Developed enough plans? Up to date with enhanced services? Merging or upscaling? Got the latest app from Hancock? All your systems integrating nicely to provide extended hours access? Great.

Well here is one more plan to get up to speed with. It has no bearing on providing patient care but I’ve almost forgotten that is why we are here:

We have decided this year to start to protect the future of Christmas for years to come, and as part of the forward looking reindeer saving plan, we have had to make some changes.

Change is hard, but this plan is the result of hours of meetings, huge amounts of digestive biscuit consumption, 2.4 billion emails (many of them urgent) and 17 draft papers, each one differing from the other by a single word.

We will review the plan at a summit in Lapland next half term so as many of you as possible can attend

At no stage has the blind led the blind, and we have certainly not had to delve into any robust research or evidence to finalise our ideas – you could say this has been developed on the hoof. We are working to such tight timescales that responses to our highly thought out plan closed last week, and implementation has begun – not even time for a vote.

The plan is available to download if you register your interest via the new Sprout Out app, which integrates nicely with System One and our techy team are working overtime (until 3pm each day) to ensure that the EMIS roll-out will happen in time for the roast gammon on Boxing Day (year yet to be specified).

We will be accepting applications for funding via fax (the app is not yet secure enough to transmit specific turkey related data) from 2pm on Christmas Eve and evidence must be provided of the intention to use any sprouts bought by close of play on Christmas Day. Unfortunately we cannot extend these deadlines, but we will review the implementation of the plan at a summit to be held in Lapland during the next available half term so as many of you as possible can attend.

The application must be completed in Finnish, although we may be able to accept other Scandinavian languages next year. Again, we are working on the roll-out of other European languages, even English, but this may not happen until after March 2019 depending on whether we even exist anymore.

We are hoping to approve as many applications as we can, but priority will be given to those that offer a wide choice of menu options available in standard oral intake alongside a PEG feed alternative. No application will be considered without provision of at least 25 litres of bread sauce (this may need to be granary bread as there is currently a shortage in pharmacies of gluten-free white loaves).

Appropriate provision must be made for post prandial support in the form of telephone access to an overfeeding specialist, and a range of providers can be used to provide this service but must include at least one from the admissions avoidance taskforce or the local reactive care team, who can apply for funding for their services in person if accompanied by a sledge and at least two reindeer.

If this all sounds a bit too much to digest, have a Happy Christmas and replenish the batteries for what should be a fun-filled 2019 for the NHS (if stocks allow).

I’m off to stockpile some presents for next year.

Dr Richard Cook is a GP in west Sussex