Campaigner blasts NHS chiefs over 'gobbledygook' language

Blackburn Citizen: Brian Todd Brian Todd

CAMPAIGNER Brian Todd has blasted NHS chiefs for using ‘gobbledygook’ language in official NHS documents, saying it prevents the public from understanding key information.

At a formal board meeting of Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group [CCG], the chairman of the borough’s Older People’s Forum berated executives about the repeated use of acronyms and jargon in the agenda papers.

Mr Todd had twice raised the issue, and was told the papers included ‘working documents’ which were ‘not a communication to the public’.

But he responded: “If you’re going to publish a document for the public please make sure these acronyms and jargon phrases are explained somewhere in them.

“You’re not reporting to your colleagues who speak gobbledygook, you are reporting to me and the public.”

The report which angered Mr Todd was written by Dr Malcolm Ridgway, the CCG’s clinical director for quality and effectiveness, who said it was a ‘technical document’ which had been published in the interests of transparency.

And this was defended by Dr Chris Clayton, chief clinical officer, who said: “Malcolm is absolutely right, it’s a technical document put in the public domain for transparency. It’s not a communication to the public.

He said the papers were for a ‘governing body meeting in public’, rather than a public meeting, saying this was a ‘technical but important difference’.

But Mr Todd said after the meeting: “You can’t say you’re being open and transparent and then produce a document without explaining the acronyms.

“I really do not accept their explanation.

“It’s not open if we don’t understand what it means.”

Comments (4)

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12:26pm Fri 6 Dec 13

vicn1956 says...

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jasc990sf dov94nfdsn mfofc!!! vicn1956

4:22pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Izanears says...

Brian is quite right to raise this matter and more power to his elbow. Some of the jargon that executives in all areas spout these days is just rubbish. It is time we got back to calling a spade a spade not a manually operated timber shafted, metal bladed implement for excavating soil. I could stretch it out even further but I am sure you get the point.
Brian is quite right to raise this matter and more power to his elbow. Some of the jargon that executives in all areas spout these days is just rubbish. It is time we got back to calling a spade a spade not a manually operated timber shafted, metal bladed implement for excavating soil. I could stretch it out even further but I am sure you get the point. Izanears

10:00pm Fri 6 Dec 13

mavrick says...

Well said Brian, Make them explain every word, It is nothing more than arrogant snobbery by people who seem to have forgotten why they became doctors.
Well said Brian, Make them explain every word, It is nothing more than arrogant snobbery by people who seem to have forgotten why they became doctors. mavrick

9:22am Mon 9 Dec 13

midas says...

What a pathetic argument, you cannot dumb down a technical document so every idiot can understand it. If you don't know what the acronym stands for (and you feel its important that you do) look it up on the internet!
.
I feel sorry for the poor doctors having to put up with this interference. Let them do their job!
What a pathetic argument, you cannot dumb down a technical document so every idiot can understand it. If you don't know what the acronym stands for (and you feel its important that you do) look it up on the internet! . I feel sorry for the poor doctors having to put up with this interference. Let them do their job! midas

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