Thursday 18 October 2012

Response from NHS Commissioning Board on NHS Brand Vacancy

I sent an FOI request to the NHS Commissioning Board in relation to the vacancy they announced for a NHS Brand manager as part of a team. The vacancy was originally highlighted by Roy Lilley. I almost feel like apologising for asking you to read it, but please do. The response below is utterly bewildering and my comments are at the bottom.

Thank you for your email of 27 September 2012. In this you requested under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act the following: – ‘Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to know the decision on why this vacancy is necessary? Who decided a NHS brand team was necessary?’.
In response to your questions regarding the NHS Commissioning Board’s position of Head of Branding please can I assure you that the Head of Brand position is part of a distinct team responsible for both ensuring the NHS Commissioning Board never loses sight of its focus on patients and for supporting and enabling patients to get the very best from a transformed and open NHS. (Waffle)

A key part of the new NHS system is being able to articulate the narrative of patient purpose and focus and helping NHS staff to directly translate this in to behaviours and services designed around and for patients.  The singular focus of the NHS Commissioning Board on quality outcomes and patients, rather than on organisations or processes, is unique, so it is important that we can set this out clearly from the outset. (Help me I'm drowning)

In addition, please can provide you with comments from Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information at the NHS Commissioning Board:

“The Head of Brand, as a key member of our Customer Relations and Patients and Information leadership team, will be critical to ensuring the NHS Commissioning Board never loses sight of its responsibility to patients. Their job will be to make sure patients and the public fully understand what the NHS can offer to them, by making sure the NHS communicates with them in ways which make sense to them and which they can access easily. The word ‘brand’ in the sense of this role means the NHS’s identity and its commitment to patients.

“Patients will only be able to take a full role in making decisions about their care if they are clear on what the NHS can do for them and can access all the information they need: that’s why we have made a commitment right the way through the NHS Commissioning Board to an open, honest and transparent culture, and why we are developing a strong and vibrant customer relations team.”

I trust this provides you with further information and reasoning for the NHS Commissioning Board’s position on this role.

Kind regards

Helen Douglas
Briefing Manager
NHS Commissioning Board

I only hope the head of brand has a clearer sense of the English language than Ms Douglas and Mr Kelsey for I am none the wiser; and I am quite certain the general public don't use 'patient purpose' in their everyday vocabulary. 'Hello I am here for my patient purpose appointment with Dr blah blah...and the leadership team.' 

These people live in a bubble where they begin to believe their own insane language taught to them by corporate apparatchiks brought in to teach them leadership thought or such like. The problem is the general public don't attend these courses, and why would you because it just sounds weird and makes no sense.

The use of 'customer relations' bothers me, as does 'information leadership team', and equally 'customer relations team'. We are patients, not customers and only the corporately brainwashed will have a clue what they mean. 

The Health and Social Care bill is a legalised mechanism to leverage public resources into the private companies that employ our so-called public servants. 

If you want to complain about being called a customer then you can email - Helen on and perhaps the leadership will listen.


  1. Thanks for your hard work and it's quotable rigour.It's one of the few beacons in this conspiracy of silence.

  2. Pointed here from a guardian comment....some good work being done here..they do not like being exposed for the leeches they are..

  3. Thanks for the comments - they do not like being exposed for what they are. They must be though - there is a lot of them one way or another.

  4. I use the NHS to look after my health when I don't have the skill or resources to do it myself. That's it. That's all I want.

  5. Richard Bellingham2 April 2013 at 07:08

    I do hope none of you commentors are health professionals. Proper public relations and branding is essential to ensure patients (consumers, customers - it doesn't matter) understand their condition and medication so that they take it (you do know about adherence, right?) in order for it to actually work.

    1. It wasn't essential for the life-time of the NHS to have a 'Brand' manager until now. I do not need a PR person to tell me about my condition or medication, but a good honest GP. What I do know is that the Health and Social care Act is a legalised mechanism to hand over public services into the hands of the private companies - many of whom employ Lords and MPs.


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