NHS Jargon

” ‘Taps run hot’, but so too, it seems, does the NHS. Commentators and health service managers have been using the phrase to describe just how busy hospitals and, in particular, A&Es were this winter” …… independent i 1/4/17 (April 1st, but not a spoof!).
It goes on to say….” It may be a bit of an odd phrase, but it is at least easier to understand than Operational Pressures Escalation Level Four. That is the new name for a black alert – when hospitals get so busy they have to cancel non-emergency operations, divert ambulances and call in extra staff.And guess what red alerts – the level down from black – were renamed? Yes, that’s right, Operational Pressures Escalation Level Three.”
“Guidance issued by NHS England last year ordered hospitals to use the new terminology when communicating with the public and media. Not everyone obeyed. Newspaper coverage this winter was littered with reports of black and red alerts.” Independent i 1/4/17
Why would anyone deliberately choose to obfuscate a simple message with jargon? Who knows?

NHS Operational Pressures Escalation Levels (OPEL)
I am under pressure every day
I would like to share this info with you,
let me find a way
I’ll take a lead from the NHS, their language is quite plain
And you can understand it
(if you’re puddled or insane!)
The key to service jargon is a cunning metaphor
“A framed widening aperture” (in other words -a door)
– I made that up for comic effect, but…..
When pressures built there used to be
Black alert or more
Now we must insist on using OPE Level 4
It’s simpler then for Red alert
The NHS agree,
for as the pressure rises It’s just OPE level 3
Even though the sound of it is simply quite atrocious
Is what they want to say
Rather than use a form of words derived from everyday.
It’s what we need when we are stressed
Or when our minds are far-gone
A ‘healthcare professional’ twisting words
Subjecting us to jargon!


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