However, working through the competencies for world class commissioning, I have been struck by the title primary care trust and have been thinking through what that means and whether it really represents and describes the future ambitions for my organisation. Perhaps, as Shakespeare wrote: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
I am also a little bit apprehensive about raising the subject of name change in case the organisational restructuring junkies get trigger-happy and think we have had too long without change. But let's face it, primary care trust doesn't describe how my executive colleagues and I spend our days. Nor does it pick up the essence of the future as described in our new world class commissioning framework.
I thought we could try to create a more meaningful title for PCTs without radical change. I remember that when I worked with Andrew Dillon at the National Institute for Clinical Excellence there was immense pressure to insert Health into NICE, thus creating NIHCE. Andrew resisted this pressure and in my view was right to keep NICE intact and maintain a very successful and well-recognised label.
So here are my suggestions for PCTs: premier care trusts, for those football fans among you, perhaps premier commissioning trusts, and I am sure you can think of many more.
A better approach might be to resist playing the name game and concentrate on getting the new commissioning competencies in place. With greater emphasis on the National bit in NHS, demonstrating a high level of competency will last longer in the minds of local stakeholders and the public than trying to keep up with what their local NHS is called. We might aim to succeed in these competencies as local leaders:
listen to partner NHS organisations and other providers;
signal the future priorities of the local NHS;
provide good, clear presentation and influencing skills, for example in reputation management;
demonstrate good organisational development skills;
be clearly and visibly recognised and sought as the leader of the local NHS and respected by its community and business partners as the primary source of credible, timely and authoritative advice on all matters relating to the NHS;
articulate the values of the NHS - fair, personal, effective and safe - and apply them to strategic planning and decision making;
be skilled in a variety of public, community and patient engagement and involvement methods and communicate the local NHS priorities to diverse groups of people;
share across the local community its ambition for health improvement and innovation, and implement preventive measures to improve well-being and tackle inequalities.
Then we would be known as the perfect care trust.
Maggie Rae is joint director of public health for Wiltshire PCT and Wiltshire county council.