LMC fights for plain speech with 'award' for DoH jargon

An LMC has launched a competition to find the best example of jargon in the NHS.

Somerset LMC has invited GPs to submit nominations from genuine NHS documents for the first 'Management Speak Award'.

LMC chairman Dr Barry Moyse said it was frustrating that so many documents issued by the DoH used jargon.

'Everything is "robust". And why are stakeholders always "key" stakeholders and never minor ones?' he said.

A favourite submission so far has been 'using goalposts to drill down to reach achievable milestones'.

Dr Moyse said the language used was more likely to obscure than reveal anything.

'No NHS manager goes home and says, "What shall we access for dinner tonight?" The words don't mean anything in real life,' he said.

Jargon in documents aimed at practices was particularly irritating given the work that GPs did, he said.

'As GPs we are very much at the heart of real life with real people and that makes the jargon all the more peculiar,' said Dr Moyse.

Taunton GP Dr Moyse has implemented a system whereby GPs who use jargon during LMC meetings are fined 10p. The proceeds go to the international humanitarian charity Medecins sans Frontieres.

The competition was the idea of Shepton Mallet GP Dr Chris Howes.

The winning entry is to receive a 'Barry', instead of an Oscar, and an Oxford English Dictionary.

The LMC hopes that, in time, a Barry will become a coveted prized fought over by 'DoH apparatchiks'. The deadline for entry is mid-May.

GPletters@haymarket.com

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