Doctors and patients are perplexed by the lack of plain English used in NHS documents, according to delegates at a British Medical Association conference last week.

Apparently, patients - or is that service users? - are being sent letters signed by their “intestinal failure co-ordinator” and told their case has been “embedded within an indication of needs matrix”.

It follows a competition launched by Somerset local medical committee to find the best example of jargon in the NHS. Doctors were invited to submit NHS papers containing words such as stakeholder, robust and access for a special “management speak” award. As committee chair Barry Moyse put it in another magazine: “No NHS manager goes home and says: ‘What shall we access for dinner tonight?’”