Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson's satirical column chronicles the absurdity of life in the NHS. It is sent to Daily Insight subscribers on Friday afternoon.

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Prepare to clear your desks


Before he takes up an important political assignment, Julian Patterson offers a shamelessly unbalanced view of the outcome of the general election and what it will mean for HSJ readers

Julian Patterson 3x2

Oh baby!


The NHS England chief executive took a large case of cliches to Manchester. ‘Did you pack this yourself?’ asks Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

The Groundhog Expo


It’s time to “activate your awareness funnel” as this year’s Blithering Expo is here. Once again the event provides an opportunity to share learnings, hear about great examples of innovation and network with peers. Most importantly, it’s a chance to get out of the office for a couple of days. ...

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Crack teams to get spin backlog under control


As election fever intensifies, the Labour leadership has set out a clear and detailed plan to save the NHS, writes Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

A tribute to chair’s towering modesty


Blithering ICB chief executive Joy Hunter shares extracts from her diary – a privileged glimpse into the busy life of one of the NHS’s top leaders, as told to Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Taking time to stop thinking about problems


Why is Sir Trevor Longstay keen to hold an all-day planning meeting? Why is he going out of his way to flatter the regional director? And will the ICB ever finish its stakeholder map? Julian Patterson has the answers

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Making liars of us all


As the pledges of the new hospitals programme inevitably unravel, Julian Patterson wonders who will have the last laugh

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Blithering shafted


New CFO Simon Shaft delivers a financial bombshell - the NHS Blithering deficit appears to have been wiped out. Has Sir Trevor Longstay made a terrible mistake? Julian Patterson reports

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

‘You Turn’ service to continue, vow NHS chiefs


Martin Plackard, chief strategy officer at NHS Blithering, has made an important correction after a plan to extend health services for practitioners was initially misunderstood. Julian Patterson has the details

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Rating the CQC


In a week of turbulent regulatory news, no one can be bothered to rate the CQC and system inspections prove elusive. Julian Patterson pretends to care.

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

A plan for all seasons


In a letter to staff at NHS Blithering ICB, Sir Trevor Longstay gives a warm welcome to NHS England’s timely planning guidance, which promises to make planning more comprehensive and productive than ever. As dictated to Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Victoria Atkins: comedy genius


In a rare mea culpa, Julian Patterson acknowledges that he was wrong to make fun of the health and social care secretary. She is more than capable of managing without him

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Victoria Atkins’ diary: My big speech


The secretary of state for health and the other thing gives a major speech and narrowly avoids a man in a car park. Julian Patterson reports

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Are you a competent NHS leader? Take this test to find out


Who better to judge the ability of leaders than leaders themselves? Julian Patterson test drives the Blithering leadership and competency framework

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Integration: the answer to everything


Martin Plackard, NHS Blithering’s director of communications and head of system fruition, has published a comprehensive guide to integrated care. ‘It tells you all you need to know – and more,’ he told Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

A positive lack of clarity


Technical problems prevented livestreaming of the latest meeting of the Blithering Integrated Care Board. Fortunately, Julian Patterson was there to capture highlights of the proceedings

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

We must ‘hire before we fire’ declares ICB


Integrated care boards have been told to cut costs, but these things don’t do themselves. Taking a leaf out of the NHS England playbook, NHS Blithering explains that it is committed to taking on the additional resource needed to drive its rationalisation. By Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Patient heal thyself: an affordable online guide from the NHS


As government policy makes self-care inevitable, Dr David Rummage has teamed up with fellow online professionals to bring you the best health advice the internet has to offer. By HSJ clickbait correspondent Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 3x2

Are you an improvement warrior?


Are you letting ‘work’ get in the way of meaningful improvement? Bev Heaver shares her tips for aspiring values-based leaders and chief storytellers

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

One minute to midnight in the ICB boardroom


With NHS Blithering ICB under imminent threat of attack by NHS England, Sir Trevor Longstay could go off at any moment. In a rare display of unity, the executive team works together to defuse the situation. Julian Patterson reports from the scene

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Going beyond the achievable


It’s no coincidence that as A&E targets have got softer, performance has got worse. NHS England has a foolproof plan to turn things round, writes Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

The 'two minute' NHSE director and other stories from 2024


It’s that time when all newspapers fill space with new year predictions. Not to be outdone, Julian Patterson imagines the headlines you can look forward to in the next 12 months

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Your Christmas gift problems solved


You’ve worked tirelessly every day until well into the late afternoon on collaboration, integration and improvement-style projects. Your ICB has recognised your commitment by giving you the whole of December off to go Christmas shopping. Before the CEO changes her mind to avert a PR disaster, what are you going ...

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Blithering backs Streeting


Welcome to the latest edition of the Blithering ICB newsletter, a round-up of all the latest news from the country’s most challenged health economy.

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

How to speak manager


If you want to go far in NHS management, don’t make the mistake of confusing plain English words with plain English, writes Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Amanda Pritchard’s diary: Passionate about priorities


This exclusive extract from the NHS chief executive’s diary is brought to you by the letter P (as told to Julian P)

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Top ICB boss defends his 'muscular leadership' style


NHS Blithering is rocked to its foundations as allegations of bullying emerge involving veteran leader Sir Trevor Longstay, writes Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

NHS Different is 'amazing'


In this blog, first published in the NHS England ICB Bulletin, the newly appointed head of NHS Different, Joy Hunter, traces the organisation’s history and sets out her overarching ambitions

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Dealing with troublesome 'facts': lessons from the covid inquiry


As one of the NHS’s pre-eminent communications professionals, Martin Plackard is often asked by colleagues how to deal with challenging and difficult situations. Here he considers what we can learn from the government’s handling of the covid inquiry

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

The hidden threat posed by fake medics


Real doctors are up in arms as physician associates threaten to replace them on social media, reports Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

From conception to ridicule: the journey of an NHSE framework


It’s not enough to rely on common sense, sometimes we need NHS England to explain it to us. Julian Patterson has read the Staff Recognition Framework so you don’t have to

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Labour will throw everything but money at the NHS


The shadow health minister Wes Streeting sets out a bold vision of a reformed health service not run by a Conservative government. As told to Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Marking your own homework and other stories


In the latest edition of the Blithering Informant, director of values-based stakeholder communications Martin Plackard brings you the latest news from the country’s most challenged integrated care board

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

‘We saw him coming’ – US firms praise visionary doctor in big data project


The doctor responsible for a ground-breaking new software project claims it will transform patient care

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

The sad inevitability of having to regulate useless managers


Sir Trevor Longstay regrets the passing of the old order but acknowledges the need for formal regulation of NHS managers – as long as a suitable leader can be found

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

NHS to get ‘tough on winter’


The government is determined to crack down on the cost of winter to the NHS. Tougher regulation of cold weather could be the answer, reports Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

‘It was as if we didn’t exist’ – shoe family’s harrowing tale


Underfunding and negligence may have been contributory factors as single mother loses family home, reports Julian Patterson

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

Something must be done! Please tell us what


Determined to show that something must be done in the wake of recent high profile care scandals, NHS England has written a strongly typed letter. Julian Patterson has sneaked a copy from the Wellington House photocopier.

Julian Patterson 2023 3x2

He did it! How Steve Barclay pulled off Health Week


The health secretary bravely battled cancer targets during a triumphant week-long celebration of everything that’s great about Westminster, writes Julian Patterson